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The Digital Fields Board for the FIELDS instrument suite on the Solar Probe Plus mission: Analog and digital signal processing

AuthorMalaspina, David; Ergun, Robert; Bolton, Mary; Kien, Mark; Summers, David; Stevens, Ken; Yehle, Alan; Karlsson, Magnus; Hoxie, Vaughn; Bale, Stuart; Goetz, Keith;
Keywordselectric and magnetic fields; instrumentation; Parker Data Used; parker solar probe; signal processing; solar probe; Solar Probe Plus; Solar wind

The first in situ measurements of electric and magnetic fields in the near-Sun environment (\< 0.25 AU from the Sun) will be made by the FIELDS instrument suite on the Solar Probe Plus mission. The Digital Fields Board (DFB) is an electronics board within FIELDS that performs analog and digital signal processing, as well as digitization, for signals between DC and 60 kHz from five voltage sensors and four search coil magnetometer channels. These nine input signals are processed on the DFB into 26 analog data streams. A specialized application-specific integrated circuit performs analog to digital conversion on all 26 analog channels simultaneously. The DFB then processes the digital data using a field programmable gate array (FPGA), generating a variety of data products, including digitally filtered continuous waveforms, high-rate burst capture waveforms, power spectra, cross spectra, band-pass filter data, and several ancillary products. While the data products are optimized for encounter-based mission operations, they are also highly configurable, a key design aspect for a mission of exploration. This paper describes the analog and digital signal processing used to ensure that the DFB produces high-quality science data, using minimal resources, in the challenging near-Sun environment.

Year of Publication2016
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Number of Pages5088-5096
Date Published06/2016