Space Plasma Physics - Remote Sensing Center

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RSC - Olsen - Research - Space Plasma Physics

Space Plasma Physics

I started my physics career at UCSD, in Carl McIlwain's group, working mostly with Elden Whipple.  This work focused on ATS-5 and ATS-6, the charging behavior on those satellties,and the results of operating the electric propulsion systems on those satellites.  Along the way, I investigated the plasma environment as well, with considerations of 'hidden ions', field-aligned ion distributions (modeled as field-aligned flows), and of course the equatorially trapped plasmas.  The latter were really a phenomenon that emerged with the SCATHA satellite.

Upon graduation, I moved to the University of Alabama (Huntsville), working with Rick Chappell's group.  There, I worked primarily with the Dynamics Explorer satellite, again looking at the impact of satellite charging on the measurements, but extending into studies of the plasmasphere and ion composition.

Leaving Huntsville for Monterey and the Naval Postgraduate School, I continued to work with the Dynamics Explorer data, using the early internet and the US mail.  I also did some work with the Los Alamos sensors (LANL) from geosynchronous orbit, mostly in charging studies.  

This work all pretty much came to a conclusion in the early 1990's, after not quite 20 years in the field.

rco, 6/2/2017

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conic mass spectrometer


Plasma Heating (non-equatorial),
conics and electron heating.

Nested Applications
RSC - Projects - Ion

Research Project - Ion Composition

Ion Composition
Nitrogen discovery; molecular ion discovery papers

RSC - Projects - ATs

Spacecraft Charging (passive, GEO)
ATS-5, -6, and SCATHA

rims hydrogen

rims hydrogen

Spacecraft Charging (DE)
including the polar wind articles


RSc - Projects - ATS


 Satellite Charge Control

RSC - Projects - Plasma


 Cats and Dogs,
Micropulsations, electric fields, co-author papers


Vacuum Chamber

Vacuum chamber

Just for fun - from the early 1990's. - Where we did all the source development work.  Still hanging around the department basement.