On-board the SICH-1M spacecraft, due to be launched in the first quarter of 2002, VARIANT is a joint international space experiment on current density measurements in ionospheric and magnetospheric plasmas.
The scientific payload includes three instruments for registration of space current density: a split Langmuir probe, a Rogovski coil and a Faraday cup.
The first two of these instruments are dedicated to measure current density variations and the last of the particles' fluxes. The equipment also includes sensors for measurements of the electric and magnetic field fluctuations in the frequency range from 0.1 Hz to 40 kHz.
The Faraday cup was designed by the Space Systems Laboratory.