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Chinese Journal of Space Science ›› 2015, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (6): 653-663.doi: 10.11728/cjss2015.06.653

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An Introduction to Magnetosphere-Ionosphere-Thermosphere Coupling Small Satellite Constellation

LIU Yong1, WANG Chi1, XU Jiyao1, LI Xiaoyu1, CAI Jinrong1, KONG Linggao2, HUANG Jia1, KLECKER Berndt3, LEI Jiuhou4, ZONG Qiugang5, OCTAV Marghitu6   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, National Space Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190;
    2 Beijing Key Laboratory of Space Environment Exploration, National Space Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190;
    3 Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische, Physik D 85741, Garching, Germany;
    4 CAS Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment, Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Heifei 230026;
    5 Institute of Space Physics and Applied Technology, School of Earth and Space Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871;
    6 National Institute for Lasers Plasma and Radiation Physics, Institute for Space Sciences, Bucharest-M?gurele, Romania
  • Received:2015-07-12 Revised:2015-07-29 Online:2015-10-15 Published:2015-12-07
  • Supported by:

    Supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program on Space Science (XDA04060201) of Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences “Hundred Talented Program”(Y32135A47S), the Chinese National Science Foundation( 411774149), the Specialized Research Fund for State Key laboratory of China, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences Visiting Fellowship for Researchers from Developing Countries

Abstract:

A future Chinese mission is introduced to study the coupling between magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere, i.e. the Magnetosphere-Ionosphere-Thermosphere Coupling Small Satellite Constellation (MIT). The scientific objective of the mission is to focus on the outflow ions from the ionosphere to the magnetosphere. The constellation is planning to be composed of four small satellites; each small satellite has its own orbit and crosses the polar region at nearly the same time but at different altitude. The payloads onboard include particle detectors, electromagnetic payloads, auroral imagers and neutral atom imagers. With these payloads, the mission will be able to investigate acceleration mechanism of the upflow ions at different altitudes. Currently the orbits have been determined and prototypes of some have also been completed. Competition for next phase selection is scheduled in late 2015.

Key words: Coupling, Magnetosphere, Ionosphere, Thermosphere, Small satellite

CLC Number: