KTH / EE / Space and Plasma Physics / Research Tools / Spacecraft


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.

Published by: School of Electrical Engineering

Last updated: 2013-06-18