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.
We present preliminary results of a new global Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulation model of the Jovian magnetosphere. The model incorporates mass loading from Jupiter's satellite Io, the planet's fast corotation, and electrostatic coupling between its magnetosphere and ionosphere (M-I coupling). The basic configuration of the Jovian magnetosphere including the equatorial plasma flow pattern, the corotation enforcement current system, and the field aligned currents (FACs) in the ionosphere are presented under an antiparallel interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) condition. The simulation model results for equatorial density and pressure profiles are consistent with results from data-based empirical models. It is also found that there are similarities between the FACs distribution in the ionosphere and the observed aurora features, showing the potential application of the simple ionospheric model to the complicated M-I coupling. This model will help deepen our understanding of the global dynamics of the Jovian magnetosphere.