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 Researchers discover link between magnetic field strength and temperature
21.08.2018 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte
17.08.2018 | Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

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: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A paper battery powered by bacteria

21.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Protein interaction helps Yersinia cause disease

21.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Biosensor allows real-time oxygen monitoring for 'organs-on-a-chip'

21.08.2018 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>