BackForwardInstrument:  WAVES 

Instrument details
Acronym WAVES
Full name Radio and Plasma Wave Experiment
Purpose Measurement of the radio and plasma wave phenomena over a very wide frequency range which occur in the solar wind
Short description Assemblage of 3 electric dipole antenna systems and 3 magnetic search coils mounted orthogonally, to observe: 1) low-frequency electric waves and low-frequency magnetic fields, from DC to 10 kHz; 2) electron thermal noise, from 4 kHz to 256 kHz; 3) radio waves, from 20 kHz to 14 MHz; and 4) time domain waveform sampling to capture short duration events
Background Collaboration NASA-CNES
Scanning Technique Interplanetary space observation from the L1 Lagrange libration point
Resolution N/A (integrated over the full interplanetary space)
Coverage / Cycle Full nterplanetary space
Mass Power Data Rate


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 1995 to 2024
Last update: 2021-11-10
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 1
  • Solar wind in situ plasma and energetic particles, magnetic field, at L1
  • Solar wind at L1 - Plasma density sensor
  • Solar coronagraph and radio- spectrograph, at L1
  • Solar radio wave receiver at L1
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