CASSIOPE Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (e-POP) Small Satellite Mission: Space Plasma Observations and International Collaborations
In-situ observation of the micro-scale characteristics of plasma acceleration and related outflow processes is a primary scientific target of the Canadian Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (e-POP) small satellite mission. The e-POP instrument payload will include imaging plasma and neutral particle sensors, magnetometers, dual-frequency GPS receivers, CCD cameras, a radio wave receiver and a beacon transmitter. The imaging plasma sensors will measure particle distributions and the magnetometers will measure field-aligned currents on the time scale of 10 ms and spatial scale of ~100 m. The CCD cameras will perform auroral imaging on the time scale of 100 ms and at spatial (pixel) resolution up to 0.4 km. The GPS and radio-wave receivers will perform near real-time imaging studies of the ionosphere in conjunction with ground-based radars, and the beacon transmitter in conjunction with ground receiving stations. The e-POP payload will be flown on the Canadian CASSIOPE small satellite, which is scheduled for launch in late 2008 into a polar orbit (325×1500 km, 80° inclination). International collaboration is an important and integral part of the e-POP mission strategy. Two of the 8 e-POP science instruments will be contributed by JAXA/ISAS, Japan, and Naval Research Laboratory, USA, respectively. Many of the planned e-POP investigations will entail coordinated observations using Canadian as well as foreign ground facilities, including magnetic and optical observatories, radars and heaters, such as the HAARP facility in Alaska, the EISCAT radar, and the NSF Antarctic facility. International collaboration in these investigations is expected to significantly enhance the science returns of the e-POP mission.