BackForwardInstrument:  S/WAVES 

Instrument details
Acronym S/WAVES
Purpose To obtain unique and critical observations on the generation of Coronal Mass Ejections (CME), their evolution and their interaction with Earth's magnetosphere
Short description There are five radio receivers covering the frequency ranges: 10-40 kHz; 40-160 kHz; 0.125-16 MHz; 32 MHz (fixed frequency); and 250,000 samples/s time series snapshots
Background Part of an instrument complex for solar processes investigation
Scanning Technique Interplanetary space observation from two variable positions along the Earth’s orbit around the Sun in order to implement stereoscopy
Resolution N/A (spatially integrated observation)
Coverage / Cycle Full interplanetary space
Mass Power Data Rate


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 2007 to 2024
Last update: 2021-12-16
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
  • Solar magnetograph, solar EUV/X-ray imagery and EUV/X-ray irradiance, both on the Earth-Sun line and off the Earth-Sun line
  • Solar radio wave sensor [from solar orbit, ecliptic, L5]
  • Solar wind in situ plasma and energetic particles and magnetic field off the Earth-Sun line
  • Solar wind density sensor [at solar orbit, ecliptic, L5]
  • Subcomponent 3
  • Solar coronal magnetic field imagery, solar wind beyond L1
  • Solar wind density sensor [from solar orbit, ecliptic, L5]
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Radio-waves
  • Solar wind density
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
Radio-waves*4 - fairNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space viewing, moderate dynamic range
Solar wind density*5 - marginalNo specific limitation.Low-noise radio-receiver