Cluster: New Measurements of Plasma Structures in 3D





Citation of Original Publication

Escoubet, C.P., Laakso, H., Goldstein, M. (2005). Cluster: New Measurements of Plasma Structures in 3D. In: Sauvaud, JA., Němeček, Z. (eds) Multiscale Processes in the Earth’s Magnetosphere: From Interball to Cluster. NATO Science Series II: Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, vol 178. Springer, Dordrecht.


This work was written as part of one of the author's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.
Public Domain Mark 1.0



After 2.5 years of operations, the Cluster mission is fulfilling successfully its scientific objectives. The mission, nominally for 2 years, has been extended 3 more years, up to December 2005. The main goal of the Cluster mission is to study in three dimensions the small-scale plasma structures in the key plasma regions in the Earth’s environment: solar wind and bow shock, magnetopause, polar cusps, magnetotail, and auroral zone. During the course of the mission, the relative distance between the four spacecraft will vary from 100 km up to a maximum of 18,000 km to study the physical processes occurring in the magnetosphere and its environment at different scales. The inter-satellites distances achieved so far are 600, 2000, 100, 5000 km and recently 250 km. The latest results, which include the derivation of electric currents and magnetic curvature, the analysis of surface waves, and the observation of reconnection in the tail and in the cusp will be presented. We will also present the description of the access to data through the Cluster science data system and several public web servers, and the future plans for a Cluster archive.