Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cluster spacecraft reach greatest separation at fifth anniversary

15.07.2005


The four spacecraft of ESA’s Cluster fleet have reached their greatest distance from each other in the course of their mission to study Earth’s magnetosphere in three dimensions.



This operation, marking the fifth anniversary of Cluster in space, transforms Cluster in the first ‘multi-scale’ mission ever. In one of the most complex manoeuvres ever conducted by ESA spacecraft, three of the spacecraft were separated to 10 000 kilometres from each other, with the fourth spacecraft at 1000 kilometres from the third one.

This new fleet formation for Cluster was achieved in two months of operations. The repositioning of the satellites was started by mission controllers at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), in Darmstadt, Germany, on 26 May, and was run until 14 July.


During the course of the mission, the distance between the Cluster satellites had already changed five times, in a range between 100 and 5000 kilometres. Varying the size - but not the shape - of the Cluster ‘constellation’ had allowed Cluster to examine Earth’s magnetosphere at different scales.

But now this new ‘asymmetric’ flying formation is allowing the Cluster spacecraft to make measurements of medium- and large-scale phenomena simultaneously, transforming Cluster in the first ever ‘multi-scale’ mission.

With this, it is possible to study at the same time the link between small-scale kinetic processes of the plasma around Earth and the large-scale morphology of the magnetosphere.

The knowledge gained by Cluster about the magnetosphere – the natural magnetic shield that surrounds and protects our planet – has already helped advance our understanding of how the solar wind affects Earth’s natural space environment.

This is also important in our daily life as, for instance, intense solar activity can disrupt terrestrial communication networks, power grids and data lines.

Hermann Opgenoorth | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEM0UH6DIAE_index_0.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht When helium behaves like a black hole
22.03.2017 | University of Vermont

nachricht Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars
22.03.2017 | International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars

22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>