The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS)
mission is a NASA
mission comprising four identically instrumented spacecraft that
will use Earth's magnetosphere as a laboratory to study the
microphysics of three fundamental plasma processes: magnetic
reconnection, energetic particle acceleration, and turbulence. These
processes occur in all astrophysical plasma systems but can be studied
in situ only in our solar system and most efficiently only in Earth's
magnetosphere, where they control the dynamics of the geospace
environment and play an important role in the processes known as "space
weather." Launch is planned for 2013, and the mission will collect data for 2 years.
SMART, for "Solving Magnetospheric Acceleration, Reconnection, and
Turbulence," is the name of the MMS science investigation. SMART will
be carried out by a team headed by Prinicipal Investigator James L.
Burch of Southwest Research Institute
and consisting of researchers
from a number of institutions. A particular focus of
the SMART investigation will be on magnetic reconnection, a process
that explosively converts magnetic energy into heat and the kinetic
energy of charged particles.
KTH will provide the electric field instruments for each of the four
spacecraft, in collaboration with the Swedish Institute of Space
Physics in Uppsala. The electric field instrument is part of a larger
FIELDS consortium led by Roy Torbert of the
University of New Hampshire.
We will also build the DC/DC converters for FIELDS.
MMS poster large
(3.4 MB) or small (1.1 MB)
SMART fact sheet (PDF, 7.8 MB)
NASA announcement of selection
For more information contact Per-Arne Lindqvist.