University of Oulu

Yamauchi, M., De Keyser, J., Parks, G. et al. Plasma-neutral gas interactions in various space environments: Assessment beyond simplified approximations as a Voyage 2050 theme. Exp Astron (2022).

Plasma-neutral gas interactions in various space environments : assessment beyond simplified approximations as a Voyage 2050 theme

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Author: Yamauchi, Masatoshi1; De Keyser, Johan2; Parks, George3;
Organizations: 1Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF), Kiruna, Sweden
2Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB), Brussels, Belgium
3Space Science Laboratory (SSL), University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA
4Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research (ISEE), Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
5Space Physics and Astronomy Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR), Tachikawa, Japan
7University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
8Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Sagamihara, Japan
9Department of Physics, Imperial College London, London, UK
10Department of Physics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
11National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
12Hellenic Space Center, Athens, Greece
13Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP), Toulouse, France
14Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Swindon, UK
15School of Space and Environment, BUAA, Beijing, China
16CNRS, University of Orléans and CNES, Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l’Environment et de l’Espace, Orléans, France
17CNRS, UCA, OCA, Lagrange, Nice, France
18Royal Institute of Technology KTH, Stockholm, Sweden
19Aalto University, Espoo, Finland
20University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, USA
21National Space Science Center (NSSC), Beijing, China
22Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
23Institute for Space Sciences (ISS), Bucharest, Romania
24Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL), University College London, London, UK
25Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
26Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
27University of Köln, Köln, Germany
28Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
29Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, Boulder, CO, USA
30Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau, China
31University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo, Japan
32Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA, USA
33Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD, USA
34Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, Sodankylä, Finland
35University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
36University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-08-30


In the White Paper, submitted in response to the European Space Agency (ESA) Voyage 2050 Call, we present the importance of advancing our knowledge of plasma-neutral gas interactions, and of deepening our understanding of the partially ionized environments that are ubiquitous in the upper atmospheres of planets and moons, and elsewhere in space. In future space missions, the above task requires addressing the following fundamental questions: (A) How and by how much do plasma-neutral gas interactions influence the re-distribution of externally provided energy to the composing species? (B) How and by how much do plasma-neutral gas interactions contribute toward the growth of heavy complex molecules and biomolecules? Answering these questions is an absolute prerequisite for addressing the long-standing questions of atmospheric escape, the origin of biomolecules, and their role in the evolution of planets, moons, or comets, under the influence of energy sources in the form of electromagnetic and corpuscular radiation, because low-energy ion-neutral cross-sections in space cannot be reproduced quantitatively in laboratories for conditions of satisfying, particularly, (1) low-temperatures, (2) tenuous or strong gradients or layered media, and (3) in low-gravity plasma. Measurements with a minimum core instrument package (< 15 kg) can be used to perform such investigations in many different conditions and should be included in all deep-space missions. These investigations, if specific ranges of background parameters are considered, can also be pursued for Earth, Mars, and Venus.

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Series: Experimental astronomy
ISSN: 0922-6435
ISSN-E: 1572-9508
ISSN-L: 0922-6435
Volume: In press
Issue: In press
DOI: 10.1007/s10686-022-09846-9
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Bern
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