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ISSN  2096-3955

CN  10-1502/P

Citation: Zhang, A. B., Kong, L. G., Li, W. Y., Li, L., Tang, B. B., Rong, Z. J., Wei, Y., Ma, J. J., Zhang, Y. T., ... and Wang, C. (2022). Tianwen-1 MINPA observations in the solar wind. Earth Planet. Phys., 6(1), 1–9.

2022, 6(1): 1-9. doi: 10.26464/epp2022014


Tianwen-1 MINPA observations in the solar wind


National Space Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China


Beijing Key Laboratory of Space Environment Exploration, Beijing 100190, China


Key Laboratory of Science and Technology on Space Environment Situational Awareness, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China


University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China


State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China


Key Laboratory of Earth and Planetary Physics, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China


Institute of Space Physics and Applied Technology, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China


Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center, Beijing 100190, China


National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012, China


Physics Institute, University of Bern, Bern 3012, Switzerland


University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China


Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, Shanghai 201109, China

Corresponding author: AiBing Zhang, Kong,

Received Date: 2021-11-30
Web Publishing Date: 2021-12-09

The Mars Ion and Neutral Particle Analyzer (MINPA) is one of the three scientific instruments onboard the Tianwen-1 orbiter to investigate the Martian space environment. During Tianwen-1’s transfer orbit to Mars, the MINPA was switched on to measure the solar wind ions. Here, we present the first results of the MINPA observations in the solar wind. During cruise, nearly half of the MINPA ion field-of-view (FOV) was blocked by the lander capsule; thus only the solar-wind ions with azimuthal speeds pointing towards the unblocked FOV sectors could be detected. We perform a detailed comparison of the MINPA’s solar wind observations with data from Earth-based missions when MINPA reached its count-rate peak, finding a general consistency of the ion moments between them. The blocking effect due to the lander is evaluated quantitatively under varying solar-wind velocity conditions. Despite the blocking effect, the MINPA’s solar wind measurements during the transfer orbit suggest a good performance.

Key words: MINPA, Tianwen-1, solar wind, capsule blocking effect

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Tianwen-1 MINPA observations in the solar wind

AiBing Zhang, LingGao Kong, WenYa Li, Lei Li, BinBin Tang, ZhaoJin Rong, Yong Wei, JiJie Ma, YiTeng Zhang, LiangHai Xie, YuXian Wang, JianSen He, Bin Liu, WenJing Wang, Bin Su, JiaWei Li, Xu Tan, Fang Wang, TaiFeng Jin, FuHao Qiao, Peter Wurz, Yan Zhu, YunFei Bai, YiRen Li, XinBo Zhu, YueQiang Sun, YongLiao Zou, Chi Wang