BackForwardInstrument:  DIDM 

Instrument details
Acronym DIDM
Full name Digital Ion Drift Meter
Purpose Observation of the electric field along the orbit
Short description It measures magnitude and direction of the incoming ion flux. The electric field is derived from the relationship between electric field, measured ion drift velocity and measured magnetic field strength. Plasma density measured from 10 to 1000000 particles/cm3
Background Part of a package of instruments for Space Weather observationm
Scanning Technique Crossing the magnetosphere in a drifting LEO
Resolution N/A
Coverage / Cycle Large fraction of magnetosphere and ionosphere
Mass 2.2 kg Power 5 W Data Rate 5 kbps


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 2000 to 2015
Last update: 2022-08-08
Detailed characteristics
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Solar and space environment monitors
  • Field or radiowave sensor
WIGOS Subcomponents
  • Subcomponent 2
  • Magnetospheric energetic particles and magnetometers
  • Heavy ion sensor [cross magnetosphere]
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Ionospheric plasma density
  • Ionospheric plasma velocity
Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
Note: * Primary mission objective.
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Electric Field4 - fairNo specific limitation.Earth's limb. Electric field
Ionospheric plasma density*4 - fairNo specific limitation.Earth's limb. Ionospheric plasma density
Ionospheric plasma velocity*1 - primaryNo specific limitation.Eart's limb. Plasma velocity
Ionospheric Scintillation2 - very highNo specific limitation.Earth's limb. Scintillations