This paper introduces and describes the radio and plasma wave investigation on the STEREO Mission: STEREO/WAVES or S/WAVES. The S/WAVES instrument includes a suite of state-of-the-art experiments that provide comprehensive measurements of the three components of the fluctuating electric field from a fraction of a hertz up to 16 MHz, plus a single frequency channel near 30 MHz. The instrument has a direction finding or goniopolarimetry capability to perform 3D localization and tracking of radio emissions associated with streams of energetic electrons and shock waves associated with Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). The scientific objectives include: (i) remote observation and measurement of radio waves excited by energetic particles throughout the 3D heliosphere that are associated with the CMEs and with solar flare phenomena, and (ii) in-situ measurement of the properties of CMEs and interplanetary shocks, such as their electron density and temperature and the associated plasma waves near 1 Astronomical Unit (AU). Two companion papers provide details on specific aspects of the S/WAVES instrument, namely the electric antenna system (Bale et al., Space Sci. Rev., 2007) and the direction finding technique (Cecconi et al., Space Sci. Rev., 2007).
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
At the Observatoire de Paris, this work was performed with the support of both CNES and CNRS. We wish to thank Jean-Yves Prado for his support concerning the CNES tracking antenna facility. At Minnesota and Berkeley, this work was performed with the support of NASA contract: NAS5-03076. I. Zouganelis acknowledges the European Marie Curie Fellowship SOPHYSM for financial support.
- Solar radioastronomy
- Space instrumentation