Alfvén
particle acceleration processes, and their consequences for electromagnetic radiation and energy transport in highly magnetised plasmas










Alfven-MICE
ISS_aurora

 

Auroral Science Missions

 

Currently Operating Missions

e-POP/Cassiope (Canada: Sept 2013-present) 1,500 x 325 km; 81 deg. inc.

  • 500 kg satellite; auroral imager, electric and magnetic fields, neutral mass spectrometer, electron and mass resolving ion analysers

 

Completed Missions

Cluster: first multi-spacecraft auroral observations complete (2008-9 and 2013) but Cluster continues!

  • Cluster observations in the Auroral Acceleration Region (AAR) were serendipitous and the opportunities are now over.
  • The visits of Cluster to the AAR occurred because the Cluster orbit perigee dropped to a minimum in 2011 before rising again.
  • The instrumentation are not optimised for auroral science, but the mission made pioneering multi-point observations.

Reimei (Aug 2005 - 2010+ tbc)

  • Single spacecraft combining plasma instrumentation and multi-spectral imagers: details here

Munin (Sweden: 2000-1) 1,965 x 707 km; 98 deg. inc.

  • Single nano-satellite; very small plasma particle instrumentation, miniature CCD camera

Astrid-2 (Sweden: Dec 1998-July 1999) 1,014 x 968 km; 83 deg. inc.

  • Single microsatellite carrying electric and magnetic fields instrument, UV photometer, Langmuir probe, ion and electron spectrometer

FAST (USA: 1996-200?) 4300 x 350 km; 83 deg inc.

  • Single spacecraft carrying plasma instrumentation including 3D electric field
  • First mission with very high time resolution particle data

Interball Auroral Probe (CIS, 1996-9?) 19,200 x 774 km, 63 deg. inc.

  • Magion sub-satellite

Astrid-1 (Sweden: 1995) 1,026 x 966 km; 83 deg. inc.

  • Single microsatellite carrying ENA analyser, UV imager and electron spectrometer

Freja (Sweden: 1992 -5) 1,756 x 600 km; 63 deg. inc.

  • Single spacecraft combining plasma instrumentation, and auroral imager

Akebono (Japan: 1989-?) 10,500x270 km; 75 deg. inc.

  • Single spacecraft combining plasma instrumentation and UV & Visible imagers

Viking (Sweden: 1986-7) 13,530 x 817 km; 99 deg. inc.

  • Single spacecraft combining plasma instrumentation and UV imager

Dynamics Explorer 1 (USA: 1981-91) 23,289 x 568 km; 90 deg. inc.

Dynamics Explorer 2 (USA: 1981-91) 1,012 x 309 km; 90 deg. inc.

  • Low altitude spacecraft paired with high altitude spacecraft



Andrew Fazakerley and Matthieu Berthomier

 


Alfvén M4 - Last Updated 02 April 2015

Auroral photograph courtesy NASA.