After a five year, nearly 2 billion mile voyage (including a separate earth flyby), the Juno spacecraft has finally arrived at Jupiter. Juno is presently orbiting the “King of Planets.” The main goals of the Juno mission are to precisely map the gravitational and magnetic fields around Jupiter, investigate the hydrogen-to-oxygen ratio (and resulting presence of water), and investigate Jupiter’s immense atmosphere of clouds & gases. Juno will also perform measurements of Jupiter’s intense radiation fields.
The Spinning Sun Sensor (SSS) for Juno contains multiple gain and threshold settings to accommodate a wide dynamic range, from inside of earth orbit to Jupiter. In addition, the sensor was specially modified to operate properly in the presence of high albedo from Jupiter. The radiation and charging environments around Jupiter are among the most severe in the solar system, and the Spinning Sun Sensor was designed to perform properly through those environments.