BackForwardInstrument:  MAST 

Instrument details
Acronym MAST
Full name Mass Spectrometer Telescope
Purpose To monitor the isotopic composition of ions from the Sun
Short description Mass spectrometer for solar ions from Li (Z=3) to Ni (Z=28) with energy in the range of about 10 MeV/nucleon to several hundred MeV/nucleon. Also, alpha-particles in the range 7-20 MeV/n
Background New development
Scanning Technique Interplanetary space observation from a high-inclination drifting LEO
Resolution N/A
Coverage / Cycle Nearly full interplanetary space, daily
Mass 7.5 kg Power 3.3 W Data Rate 1.4 kbps


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 1992 to 2012
Last update: 2022-07-26
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
  • Energetic particle spectrometer
WIGOS Subcomponents
  • Subcomponent 3
  • Neutral and Ion Mass Spectrometer
  • Heavy ions mass spectrometer [from LEO and HEO]
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Alpha particles differential directional flux
  • Heavy ion flux energy and mass spectrum
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
Alpha particles differential directional flux*2 - very highNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space. Low-medium energy range (<10 up to 100 MeV/n)
Heavy ion flux energy and mass spectrum*4 - fairNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space. Medium-high energy (over 10 to >100 MeV/n)