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Canary - Ion Spectroscopy for Ionospheric Sensing
Keywords: Canary - Ion Spectroscopy , Ionospheric Sensing, International Space Station (ISS).
The Canary instrument is a miniature electrostatic analyzer designed to detect positively charged ions in the energy range 0-1500 eV. The Canary concept began with the development of a Micro-Electro-Mechanical (MEMS) Flat Plasma Spectrometer (FlaPS), which, integrated with electronics onto FalconSAT-3, reduced the size and mass of an ion plasma spectrometer to about 10x10x10 cm3 and 250 g. The successor to FlaPS was the Wafer Integrated Spectrometer (WISPERS), expanding the same instrument to seven sensors all with uniquely optimized energy ranges and azimuth/elevation look angles. WISPERS is flying on the USAF Academy's FalconSAT-5 satellite which was launched in late 2010. FlaPS and WISPERS created a paradigm shift in the use of such instruments in a highly capable but small, low power package. The third generation, Canary, is manifest on STS-134/Endeavour to go to and be mounted on the International Space Station (ISS). It will be used to investigate the interaction of approaching spacecraft with the background plasma environment around the ISS and disturbances in the ionosphere caused by space vehicles.
Howard Feldmesser, Section Supervisor
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Laurel, MD

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