Systems Engineering Seminar

Miniaturized Charged Particle Spectrometer Development at Goddard

Presented by: Dr. Federico A. Herrero /553

March 6, 2007, 1:00 p.m.
Building 3 Auditorium

Miniaturized Charged Particle Spectrometer Development at Goddard

Mr. Herrero will discuss an effort at Goddard to miniaturize charged particle spectrometers (CPS) to 1/10th or less of their current size, using 1/10th or less their present power without loss in performance (e.g., sensitivity and resolution).

This effort has led to the development of the following miniaturized instruments to be discussed: FLAPS, WTS, IDTS, GEMS, and FFMS. Aggressive miniaturization like this requires re-definition, not just shrinking of existing devices. The new device operates as other charged particle spectrometers do: it uses an electrostatic field to deflect ions or electrons of selected energies to pass them through a slit in front of the particle detector. The electrostatic field region is in the electrostatic analyzer. Our spectrometer, a small-deflection electrostatic analyzer (SDEA), consists of two small parallel plates that enable selection of very high ion/electron energies (e.g., 50 keV) with low applied voltages (max. about 2000 volts). The simple rectangular geometry of the SDEA provides an additional advantage. For example, in a MEMS version, the Flat Plasma Spectrometer (FLAPS), uses SDEA spectrometer elements stacked side-by-side into arrays to build up the spectrometer aperture; having SDEA elements, each with its own pointing angle, providing imaging energy spectrometry for ions and electrons with efficient use of mass and space – FLAPS would serve applications in Magnetospheric investigations requiring multi-point measurements from many nanosatellites. The instruments WTS (Wind-Temperature Spectrometer) and IDTS (Ion-Drift-Temperature Spectrometer) serve Ionosphere-Thermosphere (I-T) science. About 2 years ago, it was clear that the SDEA could be equipped with an electrically gated deflector for a new type of time-of-flight mass spectrometer, the Gated Electrostatic Mass Spectrometer (GEMS); the Free-Fall Mass Spectrometer is the latest application of the SDEA concept – these also serve I-T science, as well as the Exploration and Homeland Security enterprises. Mission simplification follows from the small mass, power, and low voltage per unit energy factor of the SDEA concept. Advantages and disadvantages of SDEA in the system design of a mission will be discussed.



Federico Herrero is an Instrumentation Physicist, the Solid State Detectors Group Leader, Detector Systems Branch Code 553, NASA GSFC: MEMS Charged-particle Spectrometers, 2002–present.

Since coming from the Space Science Directorate to the Detector Systems Branch/Code 553 in the Engineering Directorate at Goddard, Dr. Herrero has returned to the development of detectors and spectrometers with particular attention to miniaturized particle spectrometers, and with new experiences in solid state detectors for IR, UV photons and particles in joint efforts with members of the Solid State Detectors Group in the Detector Systems Branch. While a member of the Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics in the 1990’s, he developed the Loss-Cone Analyzer PPA that operates on the POLAR Spacecraft and the LENA Instrument that operates on the IMAGE Spacecraft. He has over 70 publications in refereed journals and over 200 conference papers.

RESEARCH AREAS: Ion and Neutral Atom Spectrometry, Solid State Detectors/Photons and Particles, Thermosphere Dynamics, Airglow Physics, Rarefied Gas Aerodynamics.

EDUCATION: B.S. Physics, Spring Hill College; M.S. Astronomy, Univ. Florida; Ph.D. Physics (Atomic and Molecular Collisions), Univ. Florida; Post-Doctoral, Ion & Electron Impact Spectroscopy and Ionospheric Applications, Johns Hopkins Univ., 1970-72.



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