The magnetospheres of the Jupiter and Saturn are huge bodies within the
solar system, that only a few spacecraft have sampled. In order to
understand them, we need to measure the basic properties of the plasma:
what particle species are present, their densities, their velocities and
flow patterns, and temperatures (or pressures). But how do we do that?
In this talk, I’ll take you through the basics of the ‘top hat’ detector
that measures particle counts, and the various ways to convert those
counts in to the plasma parameters we desire for doing science. However,
each method, and instruments on each mission, comes with their own
caveats. These make analysis trickier and much more time consuming.
Examples of the resultant science will be shown, highlighting the
differences between planets, and sometimes, the differences between methods.