RESEARCH ACTIVITIES UNDER THE PSB
The research and development activities of Planetary Science Branch (PSB) of SPL is planned under the umbrellas of three major scientific themes. These themes are (a) interaction of solar radiation with planetary atmospheres and the processes initiated through this interaction, (b) solar wind and its interaction with different planets and planetary objects, and (c) planetary neutral atmospheres through in-situ observations. Since the prestigious Chandrayaan-1 mission of ISRO, PSB was involved in the experiments like Sub-keV Atom Reflecting Analyser (SARA) onboard CH-1, Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA) on-board Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) and Chandra’s Atmospheric Composition Explorer (CHACE-2) onboard CH-2 Mission. These experiments were very successful in terms of its scientific outcomes and yielded many discovery class scientific results. The data analysis of CHACE-2 is progressing well and the first results on Ar-40 in lunar exosphere has been communicated. Also, first release of CHACE-2 data sets to public also has been successfully done. Analysis of MENCA data is also going on. In terms of instrumentation, presently PSB is focussing on the scientific payloads like Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA) for Aditya-L1 Mission,Venus Ionospheric and Solar Wind Analyser (VISWAS), Venus Ionospheric Plasma wavE detectoR (VIPER), VEnus THermosphere Ionosphere Composition Analyser(VETHICA), Venus Electron Temperature Analyser (VETA) for the upcoming Venus Mission. Also, for the upcoming DISHA mission, Electron Temperature Analyser (ETA) is also to be developed. Payloads like Plasma AnalyseR for the Environment of Mars (PREM) and the magnetometers (flux gate and search coil) for the Mars Orbiter Mission-2 (MOM-2) of ISRO, are also under development.As part of task team for the development of mass spectrometer electronics, PSB is providing necessary scientific and simulation support towards this activity. The High Vacuum Space Simulation Facility (HVSSF) of SPL is fully operational and is being augmented as per the payload development needs. In addition, an advanced Payload Operation Centre (POC) of SPL is catering to the ground segment activities of all the payloads developed at SPL and is being routinely augmented.