The Electron Drift Instrument for MMS


Torbert RB, Vaith H, Granoff M, Widholm M, Gaidos JA, Briggs BH, Dors IG, Chutter MW, Macri J, Argall M, et al. The Electron Drift Instrument for MMS. Space Science Reviews [Internet]. 2015;199 (1) :283–305.


The Electron Drift Instrument (EDI) on the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission measures the in-situ electric and magnetic fields using the drift of a weak beam of test electrons that, when emitted in certain directions, return to the spacecraft after one or more gyrations. This drift is related to the electric field and, to a lesser extent, the gradient in the magnetic field. Although these two quantities can be determined separately by use of different electron energies, for MMS regions of interest the magnetic field gradient contribution is negligible. As a by-product of the drift determination, the magnetic field strength and constraints on its direction are also determined. The present paper describes the scientific objectives, the experimental method, and the technical realization of the various elements of the instrument on MMS.