Friday, April 7, 2017

Proton Monitor shows Wind Speed dropped and density is up

Proton Monitor shows Wind Speed dropped and density is up today and this could signal tomorrow to be a strong events day globally.

The Proton Monitor (PM) is a subsensor of the MTOF instrument, which is one of the 3 time-of-flight instruments comprising the CELIAS experiment on the SOHO spacecraft. MTOF determines high resolution mass spectra of heavy solar wind ions and uses a very wide bandwidth energy-per-charge analyzer to maximize counting statistics. The PM was designed to assist in the interpretation of MTOF data and for that reason uses a similar wide bandwidth analyzer that limits the accuracy of derived solar wind parameters. In addition, since SOHO is not a spinning spacecraft, the deflection system was designed to have a wide angular acceptance (+- 15 deg). For technical reasons this leads to an ambiguity between incident angle and incident energy/charge; this ambiguity was designed into the PM to match as closely as possible the behavior of the deflection system for the main MTOF sensor. It is not the energy/charge but rather the mass/charge that is needed for interpretation of the MTOF mass data.
The data presented here are derived from sets of 6 rates (one for each voltage step of the PM deflection system) obtained every 30 seconds. The voltage steps are spaced logarithmically (about 60% step size) from about 0.3 to 3 kV. At a given voltage step the energy per charge dynamic range is slightly more than a factor of 2. The overall geometry factor of the PM is about 1.0 x 10**-4 cm**2.

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