Science observations by small satellite
The science mission of INDEX is to observe the aurora’s fine structure. The mission was selected by the ISAS Science Committee following public solicitation. Total weight of mission instruments is about 11kg, including the Multi-spectral Auroral Camera (MAC), Electron/Ion Energy Spectrum Analyzer (ESA/ISA), Current Monitor (CRM) and Science Data Handling Unit (SHU). By observing the aurora emission and distribution of plasma particles from the same location, their correspondence will be investigated within the fine structure, something that was difficult in the past. Satellite attitude control will be optimized in order to achieve science observation, not only by three-axis attitude stabilization but also by no-use of MTQ, which affects particle measurement, during observation.
Toward the launch!
In previous stages of INDEX development, veterans from satellite manufacturers helped us with the satellite design. Since around 2003, however, ISAS has taken the initiative in the development. Electrical and environment tests are performed at ISAS, and where necessary, we ask for specific technical advice from satellite-development experts. We are now conducting the FM test keeping our team in close unity toward the launch. We would like to express our appreciation to the cooperation given to the satellite development by those inside and outside ISAS, and hope that their support will continue.
(Hirobumi SAITO and Seisuke FUKUDA)