Articles | Volume 3, issue 1
Research article
05 May 2014
Research article |  | 05 May 2014

In-flight calibration of the Cluster PEACE sensors

N. Doss, A. N. Fazakerley, B. Mihaljčić, A. D. Lahiff, R. J. Wilson, D. Kataria, I. Rozum, G. Watson, and Y. Bogdanova

Abstract. The Plasma Electron and Current Experiment (PEACE) instruments operate on all four of the Cluster spacecraft and measure the 3-D velocity distribution of electrons in the energy range from 0.59 eV to 26.4 keV during each spacecraft spin. Pitch angle distributions and moments of the velocity distribution are also produced. As the mission has progressed, the efficiency of the detectors has declined. Several factors may play a role in this decline such as exposure to radiation, high electron fluxes and spacecraft thruster firings. To account for these variations, continuous in-flight calibration work is essential. The purpose of this paper is to describe the PEACE calibration parameters, focussing in particular on those that vary over time, and to describe the methods which are used to determine their evolution.