The LECP looks for particles of higher energy than the PLS, and it overlaps with the Cosmic Ray Subsystem (CRS). It has the broadest energy range of the three sets of particle sensors.

The LECP can be imagined as a piece of wood, with the particles of interest playing the role of bullets. The faster a bullet moves, the deeper it will penetrate the wood. Thus, the depth of penetration measures the speed of the particles. The number of "bullet holes" over time indicates how many particles there are in various places in the solar wind, and at the various outer planets. The orientation of the wood indicates the direction from which the particles came.

The Low-Energy Charged Particle experiment uses two solid-state detector systems mounted on a rotating platform. The two subsystems are the low-energy particle telescope (LEPT) and the low-energy magnetospheric particle analyzer (LEMPA).

Low-Energy Charged Particles (LECP) Objective

  • The spectra of the various atomic species comprising the galactic cosmic radiation, especially at low energy.
  • Time variation of galactic cosmic rays.
  • The radial gradient of galactic cosmic rays.
  • Energetic particles of solar origin associated with flares and active regions.
  • Energetic particles of planetary origin.
  • Interplanetary energetic particles.