Fundamental Technologies

Galileo Spacecraft Pages

The Galileo Energetic Particles Detector

From Space Science Reviews


D.J. Williams, R.W. McEntire, S. Jaskulek, and B. Wilken
Space Science Reviews, 60, 385-412, 1992.

Amongst its complement of particles and fields instruments, the Galileo spacecraft carries an Energetic Particles Detector (EPD) designed to measure the characteristics of particle populations important in determining the size, shape and dynamics of the Jovian magnetosphere. To do this the EPD provides 4pi angular coverage and spectral measurements for Z >= 1 ions from 20 keV to 55 MeV, for electrons from 15 keV to > 11 MeV, and for the elemental species helium through iron from approximately 10 keV per nucl to 15 MeV per nucl. Two bidirectional telescopes, mounted on a stepping platform, employ magnetic deflection, energy loss versus energy, and time-of-flight techniques to provide 64 rate channels and pulse height analysis of priority selected events. The EPD data system provides a large number of possible operational modes from which a small number will be selected to optimize data collection during the many encounter and cruise phases of the mission. The EPD employs a number of safeing algorithms that are to be used in the event that its self-checking procedures indicate a problem. The EPD has demonstrated its operational flexibility throughout the long evolution of the Galileo program by readily accommodating a variety of secondary mission objectives occasioned by the changing mission profile, such as the Venus flyby and the Earth 1 and 2 encounters.

A more complete description can be found here. The text is the Galileo Instrument Template submitted to the PDS archive. A complete description of the detectors and energy channels is included.


Several of the figures from the Space Science Reviews article are included here to further clarify the description of the EPD aboard Galileo.

Return to main Galileo Table of Contents Page.
Return to Fundamental Technologies Home Page.

Updated 10/18/02, T. Hunt-Ward