Waves is an experiment on the Juno spacecraft to study radio and plasma waves. It is part of collection of various types of instruments and experiments on the spacecraft; Waves is oriented towards understanding fields and particles in Jupiter's magnetosphere. Waves is on board the unmanned Juno spacecraft, which was launched in 2011 and arrived at Jupiter in the summer of 2016. The major focus of study for Waves is Jupiter's magnetosphere, which if could be seen from Earth would be about twice the size of a full moon. It has a tear drop shape, and that tail extends away from the Sun by at least 5 AU (Earth-Sun distances). The Waves instrument is designed to help understand the interaction between Jupiter's atmosphere, its magnetic field, its magnetosphere, and to understand Jupiter's auroras. It is designed to detect radio frequencies from 50 Hz up to 40,000,000 Hz (40 MHz), and magnetic fields from 50 Hz to 20,000 Hz (20 kHz). It has two main sensors a dipole antenna and a magnetic search coil. The dipole antenna has two whip antenna's that extend 2.8 meters (110 inches/ 9.1 feet) and they are attached to the main body of the spacecraft. This sensor has been compared to a rabbit ears set-top TV antenna. The search coil is overall a mu metal rod 15 cm (6 in) length with a fine copper wire wound 10,000 times around it. There are also two frequency receivers that each cover certain bands. Data handling is done by two radiation hardened systems on a chip. The data handling units are located inside the Juno Radiation Vault. Waves was allocated 410 Mbits of data per science orbit.
On June 24, 2016 the Waves instrument recorded Juno passing across Jupiter's magnetic field's bow shock. It took about two hours for the unmanned spacecraft to cross this region of space. On June 25, 2016 it encountered the magnetopause. Juno would go on to enter Jupiter's orbit in July 2016. The magnetosphere blocks the charged particles of the solar wind, with the number of solar wind particles Juno encountered dropping 100-fold when it entered the Jovian magnetosphere. Before Juno entered it, it was encountering about 16 solar wind particles per cubic inch of space.
There is various other antenna on Juno including the communication antennas and the antenna for the Microwave Radiometer.
Two other instruments help understand the magnetosphere of Jupiter, Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment (JIRAM) and Magnetometer (MAG) instrument. The JEDI instrument measures higher energy ions and electrons and JADE lower energy ones, they are complementary. Another object of study is plasma generated by volcanism on Io (moon) and Waves should help understand that phenomenon also.
A primary objective of the Juno mission is to explore the polar magnetosphere of Jupiter. While Ulysses briefly attained latitudes of ~48 degrees, this was at relatively large distances from Jupiter (~8.6 RJ). Hence, the polar magnetosphere of Jupiter is largely uncharted territory and, in particular, the auroral acceleration region has never been visited. ...— A Wave Investigation for the Juno Mission to Jupiter
Another issue that came up in 2002, was when Chandra determined with its high angular resolution that X-rays were coming from Jupiter's poles. Einstein Observatory and Germany's ROSAT previously observed X-rays from Jupiter. The new results by Chandra, which took the observations during December 2000, showed X-rays coming from the magnetic north pole not the aurora. Roughly every 45 minutes Jupiter sends out a multi-gigawatt X-ray pulse, and this is synchronized with an emission in radio at 1 to 200 kHz. Galileo orbiter and Ulysses solar orbiter picked up the radio emissions every 45 minutes. The radio emissions were discovered before the X-rays, they have been detected since the 1950s, and there is even Citizen astronomer project orchestrated by NASA called Radio Jove for anyone to listen to Jupiter's radio signals. Kilometric radio radiation was not detected until the Voyager flybys of Jupiter in the late 1970s. Two candidates for the source of the X-rays are particles of Solar wind or from Io.
There are two frequency receivers that each cover certain bands, a high band and a low band, which in turn has different receiving sections. The receivers are housed in the Juno Radiation Vault along with other electronics.
- High Frequency Receiver
- High Frequency Receiver ~100 kHz - 40 MHz (Spectrum (High) and Waveform (Low))
- High Frequency Waveform Receiver
- Low Frequency Receiver
All outputs are sent to the Data Processing Unit (DPU)
Data Processing Unit (DPU)Edit
The output from the frequency receivers is in turn processed by the Juno DPU. The DPU has two microprocessors that use field programmable gate arrays are they are both system on chip designs. The two chips:
- Y180 intellectual property core
- Floating point arithmetic unit
Waves has detected radio emissions from the Jupiter auroras, the most powerful known in the Solar System to date.
- Other instruments on Juno
- Waves in plasmas
- Ulysses (spacecraft)
- Magnetosphere of Jupiter
- Radio astronomy
- FIELDS (investigation on the Parker Solar Probe, launched summer of 2018)
- Plasma Wave Subsystem (Instrument on the Voyager probes)
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