Radio Propagation Experiments in the Galileo Mission

Galileo at Jupiter The Galileo spacecraft, shown in the image at the left, was launched in 1989 and has been orbiting Jupiter since December 7, 1995.

The primary phase of the Galileo Mission lasted 2 years and 11 orbits, during which a probe entered Jupiter's atmosphere and diverse instruments onboard the orbiter monitored the Jovian System (Jupiter, its satellites, rings, and magnetosphere). The spacecraft remained in good health after successfully completing the primary mission, and an extended mission is now underway. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is responsible for managing the mission and operating the spacecraft.

The primary and extended missions include a total of 25 radio occultation experiments at Jupiter (8), Io (6), Europa (3), Ganymede (4), and Callisto (4). These experiments use a radio signal transmitted by the spacecraft and received on Earth for remote sensing of the planet and satellite ionospheres. The Galileo Radio Propagation Team is responsible for the collection, reduction, and analysis of data from these experiments. Team Members include Team Leader H. T. Howard and D. P. Hinson of Stanford University, A. J. Kliore and R. Woo of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and F. M. Flasar of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. This World Wide Web site offers access to selected results.

The Galileo radio occultations provide profiles of electron number density versus radius in the ionospheres of Jupiter and its primary satellites. Results for the following bodies are currently available through this site:

Additional results will be posted as they become available.

A list of publications by the Galileo Radio Propagation Team may be found here.

Last updated: September 23, 2003
David Hinson / Joe Twicken