Experimental Space Plasma

About Us

This is a collaboration of researchers working on space plasma physics through both instrument development and data analysis.  Instruments are developed and built here that measure ion and electron fluxes, ion composition, neutral atom composition, magnetic fields and electric fields.

The science pursued with these instruments cover two broad regions:

Solar Wind/Heliosphere

These studies include investigations of the Earth's bow shock, magnetosheath, magnetosphere, auroral regions and ionosphere.  Data is being analyzed from many sources, including UNH-built instruments on Cluster, FAST, Polar, MMS and Van Allen Probes. Studies in this area are also done using instruments on sounding rockets and by ground based detectors.

Magnetosphere Ion Sources, acceleration, and transport

There are two sources for the plasma in the Earth's magnetosphere: the solar wind and the ionosphere. The solar wind is predominantly protons, with a small percentage of alpha particles and high charge state heavy ions, while the ionosphere provides low charge state ions, primarily hydrogen and O+. Although the protons are common to both sources, the heavy ions can be used to differentiate the sources, and to better understand the acceleration mechanisms and transport paths that bring the ions in the the Earth's magnetotail and inner magnetosphere. We are involved in a number of studies using Van Allen Probes, Cluster and Arase data to better understand how the two sources are accelerated and transported within the magnetosphere, and how the ion composition impacts the magnetospheric dynamics.

Recent publications:

  • Lund, E. J., N. Nowrouzi, L. M. Kistler, X. Cai, and H. U. Frey (2018), On the Role of Ionospheric Ions in Sawtooth Events, Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), 123(1), 665–684, doi:10.1002/2017JA024378.
  • Menz, A. M., L. M. Kistler, C. G. Mouikis, H. E. Spence, R. M. Skoug, H. O. Funsten, B. A. Larsen, D. G. Mitchell, and M. Gkioulidou (2017), The role of convection in the buildup of the ring current pressure during the 17 March 2013 storm, Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), 122(1), 475–492, doi:10.1002/2016JA023358.
  • Kistler, L. M., C.G. Mouikis, H.E. Spence, A.M. Menz, R.M. Skoug, H.O. Funsten, B.A. Larsen, D.G. Mitchell, M. Gkioulidou, J.R. Wygant, and L.J. Lanzerotti  (2016), The source of O+ in the storm time ring current, Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), 121(6), 5333–5349, doi:10.1002/2015JA022204
  • Kistler, L. M. (2016) The Impact of O+ on Magnetotail Dynamics, in Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling in the Solar System (eds C. R. Chappell, R. W. Schunk, P. M. Banks, J. L. Burch and R. M. Thorne), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781119066880.ch.

 

Inner magnetosphere waves

The inner magnetosphere is an active location for wave generation. These waves can impact the magnetospheric dynamics both by accelerating ions or electrons, and through scattering the particles, creating loss.  Wave acceleration is one mechanism responsible for the Van Allen radiation belts. Our groups have been studying the conditions that lead to wave excitation, as well as how the interplay of different particle populations and waves lead to the development of the radiation belts.

Recent Publications:

  • Saikin, A. A. et al. (2018), Comparing simulated and observed EMIC wave amplitudes using in situ Van Allen Probes' measurements, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 177, 190–201, doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2018.01.024.
  • Paulson, K. W., C. W. Smith, M. R. Lessard, R. B. Torbert, C. A. Kletzing, and J. R. Wygant (2017), In situ statistical observations of Pc1 pearl pulsations and unstructured EMIC waves by the Van Allen Probes, Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), 122(1), 105–119, doi:10.1002/2016JA023160.
  • Allen, R. C., J.-C. Zhang, L. M. Kistler, H. E. Spence, R. L. Lin, B. Klecker, M. W. Dunlop, M. André, and V. K. Jordanova (2016), A statistical study of EMIC waves observed by Cluster: 2. Associated plasma conditions, Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), 121(7), 6458–6479, doi:10.1002/2016JA022541.

 

Reconnection

The reconnection of magnetic field lines is one of the fundamental processes that controls the coupling between the magnetosphere and interplanetary space. The Cluster mission, with four spacecraft in a tetrahedon with variable spacing gives an ion-scale view of reconnection. The Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, with four much more closely spaced spacecraft, combined with high time resolution, has allowed the structure of the reconnection region to be measured at the electron scales. At UNH, studies have involved determining the structure of the electron diffusion region and the dissipation that occurs, studies of magnetic structures that result from reconnection, and the effects of heavy ions and cold dense plasma on reconnection.

Recent Publications:

  • Alm, L., et al. (2018), Differing Properties of Two Ion-Scale Magnetopause Flux Ropes,, 123(1), 114–131, doi:10.1002/2017JA024525.
  • Torbert, R. B. et al. (2017), Structure and Dissipation Characteristics of an Electron Diffusion Region Observed by MMS During a Rapid, Normal-Incidence Magnetopause Crossing, Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), 122(1), 11–, doi:10.1002/2017JA024579.
  • Torbert, R.B. et al. (2016), Estimates of terms in Ohm's law during an encounter with an electron diffusion region,, 43(1), 5918–5925, doi:10.1002/2016GL069553.
  • Liu, Y. H., C. G. Mouikis, L. M. Kistler, S. Wang, V. Roytershteyn, and H. Karimabadi (2015), The heavy ion diffusion region in magnetic reconnection in the Earth's magnetotail, Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), 120(5), 3535–3551, doi:10.1002/2015JA020982.
  • Wang, S., L. M. Kistler, C. G. Mouikis, and S. M. Petrinec (2015), Dependence of the dayside magnetopause reconnection rate on local conditions, Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), 120(8), 6386–6408, doi:10.1002/2015JA021524.

 

Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Research

Scientists in the Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Research Laboratory focus on the development of instrumentation for ground-based, rocket-based, and satellite observations of space physics phenomena and analysis of the resulting observations.

 

Ionosphere-Thermosphere Coupling

The Space Science Center conducts a robust research program into the science of the ionosphere-thermosphere (and mesosphere) system within the larger geospace system. The IT (or ITM) system occupies the lower reaches of geospace, spanning altitudes of about 80 km to 1000 km. In this region, comingled gases in the neutral and plasma states are tightly coupled by various physical and chemical processes. In fact, the origin of the plasma component is the neutral gas component, primarily through the ionizing action of solar radiation. As a highly structured and variable medium, the processes that dominate in a given location vary greatly, as phenomena originating in other elements of geospace and the lower atmosphere impact the system. The Center’s research program into this science seeks to advance understanding of how the system behaves, with a focus on the impacts of coupling between its charged and neutral constituents.

Recent Publications:

  • Observations of spatial variations in O/N2 during an auroral substorm using the multichannel downlooking camera on the VISIONS rocket, J. H. Hecht, J. H. Clemmons, M. G. Conde, D. L. Hampton, R. G. Michell, D. E. Rowland, R. F. Pfaff, and R.L. Walterscheid, J. Geophys. Res., 123, 7089-7105, doi:10.1029/2018JA025288, 2018.
  • High-resolution modeling of the cusp density anomaly: Response to particle and Joule heating under typical conditions, Douglas G. Brinkman, Richard L. Walterscheid, James H. Clemmons, and James. H. Hecht, J. Geophys. Res., 121, 2645-2661, doi:10.1002/2015JA021658, 2016.
  • LAICE cubesat mission for gravity wave studies, John Westerhoff, Gregory Earle, Rebecca Bishop, Gary R. Swenson, Sharon Vadas, James Clemmons, Ryan Davidson, Lucy Fanelli, Chad Fish, Vidur Garg, Alex Ghosh, Bindu B. Jagannatha, Erik Kroeker, Peter Marquis, Daniel Martin, Stephen Noel, Cameron Orr, and Robert Robertson, Adv. Space Res., 56, 1413-1427, doi:10.1016/j.asr.2015.06.036, 2015.
  • Rapid, highly-structured meridional winds and their modulation by non-migrating tides: Measurements from the Streak mission, J. H. Clemmons, R. L. Walterscheid, A. B. Christensen, and R. L. Bishop, J. Geophys. Res., 118, 866-877, doi:10.1029/2012JA017661, 2013.
  • A multi-year (2002-2006) climatology of O/N2 in the lower thermosphere from TIMED GUVI and ground-based photometer observations, J. H. Hecht, T. Mulligan, J. T. Correira, J. H. Clemmons, D. J. Strickland, R. L. Walterscheid, and M. G. Conde, J. Geophys. Res., 117, A03302, doi:10.1029/2011JA017146, 2012.
  • High-latitude E region ionosphere-thermosphere coupling: A comparative study using in situ and incoherent scatter radar observations, J. K. Burchill, J. H. Clemmons, D. J. Knudsen, M. Larsen, M. J. Nicolls, R. F. Pfaff, D. Rowland, and L. Sangalli, J. Geophys. Res., 117, A02301, doi:10.1029/2011JA017175, 2012.
  • The ionization gauge investigation for the Streak mission, J. H. Clemmons, L. M. Friesen, N. Katz, M. Ben-Ami, Y. Dotan, and R. L. Bishop, Space Sci. Rev., 145, 263-283, doi:10.1007/s11214-009-9489-6, 2009.
  • Thermospheric density in the Earth's magnetic cusp as observed by the Streak mission, J. H. Clemmons, J. H. Hecht, D. R. Salem, and D. J. Strickland,  Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L24103, doi:10.1029/2008GL035972, 2008.

 

Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission

Launched March 15, 2015

The Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission is a NASA Solar-Terrestrial Probes Mission designed to study how the sun's and Earth's magnetic fields connect and disconnect, in a process called "reconnection". Our researchers at the University of New Hampshire plays two key roles in the mission. First, we are the overall lead for the FIELDS instrument suite, the suite of instruments that measured the electric and magnetic fields. We are also the lead for the Electron Drift Instrument (EDI), one of the instruments in the FIELDS suite. EDI measures the electric field by emitting a beam of electrons, and tracking its return, and has flown on the Equator-S, Cluster and now the MMS missions.

 

Van Allen Probes

Launched August 30, 2012

Van Allen Probes is a NASA mission designed to study the dynamics of the inner mnagnetosphere, particularly the Van Allen Radiation Belts. It consists of two identical spacecraft well instrumented to cover electrons from ~20 eV up to 10 MeV, and ions from 20 eV to 75 MeV, as well as measuring the magnetic and electric fields.

UNH has two roles in the Van Allen Probes mission. UNH is the lead for the Energetic Particle and Thermal Plasma (ECT) Suite, and for the Central Data Processing Unit (CDPU) for the EMFISIS instrument suite.

 

Cluster

Launched July 16 and August 9, 2000

Cluster is a European Space Agency mission designed to study magnetospheric dynamics by separating spatial and temporal varations through the use of four identifical spacecraft, designed to be in a tretrahedron configuraton during key locations in the orbit. UNH participated in two instruments: We built the time-of-flight section for the Composition Distribution Function analizer (CODIF) part of the Cluster Ion Spectometer (CIS) instrument package, and we participated in and are the lead for the Electron Drift Instrument (EDI)

 

Mechanisms of energetic mass ejection - eXplorer

The Mechanisms of Energetic Mass Ejection - eXplorer (MEME-X) is a mission concept to map the processes that control the outflow of mass through the upper atomosphere to space.  The mission concept is one of five selected for  competitive Phase-A studies. If selected, UNH will contribute instruments that measure ion and electron fluxes, as well as the neutral thermospheric density.  UNH will also contribute a student experiment to the mission.

 

Solar Wind/Heliosphere

These studies include investigations of particles and fields in interplanetary space, from the sun to the boundaries of the heliosphere.  Missions with UNH-built instruments in these regions include ACE, STEREO, IBEX and Wind.  In addition, UNH researchers are actively involved in the development and building of instruments for the Solar Orbiter and the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) missions.

Solar Wind structures

The solar wind is a plasma embedded in a magnetic field that flows continuously from the sun.  Some regions of the sun, called "coronal holes" often have higher velocity solar wind than other regions.  In addition the sun sometimes emits strong bursts of plasma and magnetic field, called Coronal Mass Ejections (CME). If the CME encounters the earth, it can lead to a geomagnetic storm.  A Stream Interaction Region (SIR) is an interaction between a high speed  solar wind flow and lower speed flow, that can result in a shock.  If the same structure is observed for multiple solar rotations, it is a "Corotating" Interaction Region (CIR).  These structures can also cause geomagentic storms. The Heliospheric Current sheet is the boundary between magnetic field lines from the Sun's northern hemisphere and the Sun's southern hemisphere. The occurence of CMEs and CIRs varies with solar activity.  This group studies the formation, evolution, and effects of solar wind structures including CMEs, SIRs and CIRs and the Heliospheric Current Sheet. These studies use data from multiple spacecraft including STEREO, ACE, and Wind.

Recent Publications

  • Lugaz, N., Farrugia, C. J., Winslow, R. M., Al-Haddad, N., Galvin, A. B., Nieves-Chinchilla, T., Lee, C. O., & Janvier, M. (2018). On the Spatial Coherence of Magnetic Ejecta: Measurements of Coronal Mass Ejections by Multiple Spacecraft Longitudinally Separated by 0.01 au. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 864(1), L7. https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/aad9f4
  • L K Jian, C T Russell, J G Luhmann, and A B Galvin. (2018). STEREO Observations of Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections in 2007-2016, 855(2), 114. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aab189
  • Lugaz, N., Farrugia, C. J., Winslow, R. M., Small, C. R., Manion, T., & Savani, N. P. (2017). Importance of CME Radial Expansion on the Ability of Slow CMEs to Drive Shocks. The Astrophysical Journal, 848(2), 75. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aa8ef9
  • Peng, J., Liu, Y. C. M., Huang, J., Li, H., Klecker, B., Galvin, A. B., Simunac, K., Farrugia, C., Jian, L. K., Liu, Y., & Zhang, J. (2017). In Situ Analysis of Heliospheric Current Sheet Propagation. Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), 122(1), 9803–9814. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JA024194
  • Vasquez, B. J., Farrugia, C. J., Simunac, K. D. C., Galvin, A. B., & Berdichevsky, D. B. (2017). Concerning the helium-to-hydrogen number density ratio in very slow ejecta and winds near solar minimum. Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), 122(2), 1487–1512. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016JA023636
  • Winslow, R. M., Philpott, L., Paty, C. S., Lugaz, N., Schwadron, N. A., Johnson, C. L., & Korth, H. (2017). Statistical study of ICME effects on Mercury's magnetospheric boundaries and northern cusp region from MESSENGER. Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), 122(5), 4960–4975. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016JA023548

 

Solar Wind Waves and Turbulence

The solar wind itself is an active environment of plasma wave generation and turbulence. How waves generated, and how the flow energy is converted to heat, and what affects these waves have are all active areas of research. Solar wind studies are done using data from many spacecraft including Voyager, Ullyses, ACE, Wind and STEREO.

Recent Publications

  • Hollick, S. J., Smith, C. W., Pine, Z. B., Argall, M. R., Joyce, C. J., Isenberg, P. A., Vasquez, B. J., Schwadron, N. A., Sokół, J. M., Bzowski, M., & Kubiak, M. A. (2018). Magnetic Waves Excited by Newborn Interstellar Pickup Ions Measured by the Voyager Spacecraft from 1 to 45 au. I. Wave Properties. The Astrophysical Journal, 863(1), 75. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aac83b
  • Hollick, S. J., Smith, C. W., Pine, Z. B., Argall, M. R., Joyce, C. J., Isenberg, P. A., Vasquez, B. J., Schwadron, N. A., Sokół, J. M., Bzowski, M., & Kubiak, M. A. (2018). Magnetic Waves Excited by Newborn Interstellar Pickup Ions Measured by the Voyager Spacecraft from 1 to 45 au. II. Instability and Turbulence Analyses. The Astrophysical Journal, 863(1), 76. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aac839
  • Smith, C. W., Vasquez, B. J., Coburn, J. T., Forman, M. A., & Stawarz, J. E. (2018). Correlation Scales of the Turbulent Cascade at 1 au. The Astrophysical Journal, 858(1), 21. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aabb00
  • Cannon, B. E., Smith, C. W., Isenberg, P. A., Vasquez, B. J., Joyce, C. J., Murphy, N., & Nuno, R. G. (2017). Listing of 502 Times When the Ulysses Magnetic Fields Instrument Observed Waves Due to Newborn Interstellar Pickup Protons. The Astrophysical Journal, 840(1), 13. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aa6c2f

 

Solar Energetic Particles and Cosmic Rays

At energies higher than the bulk solar wind energy, interplanetary space is also filled with particle radiation that both comes from the sun, called Solar Energetic Particles (SEP), and that comes from outside the solar system, called Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR). This group studies how these particles are accelerated, how they vary with solar activity and the solar cycle, and what their effects are on planets and moons, as well as on humans in space. These studies include data from a variety of sources including ACE upstream from the Earth, Messenger at Mercury, and Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter at the moon.

Recent Publications

  • Winslow, R. M., Schwadron, N. A., Lugaz, N., Guo, J., Joyce, C. J., Jordan, A. P., Wilson, J. K., Spence, H. E., Lawrence, D. J., Wimmer-Schweingruber, R. F., & Mays, M. L. (2018). Opening a Window on ICME-driven GCR Modulation in the Inner Solar System. The Astrophysical Journal, 856(2), 139. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aab098
  • Jordan, A. P., Stubbs, T. J., Wilson, J. K., Schwadron, N. A., & Spence, H. E. (2018). The possible contribution of dielectric breakdown to space weathering on Phobos. Advances in Space Research, 62(8), 2187–2198. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asr.2018.01.029
  • Schwadron, N. A., Cooper, J. F., Desai, M., Downs, C., Gorby, M., Jordan, A. P., Joyce, C. J., Kozarev, K., Linker, J. A., Mikíc, Z., Riley, P., Spence, H. E., Török, T., Townsend, L. W., Wilson, J. K., & Zeitlin, C. (2017). Particle Radiation Sources, Propagation and Interactions in Deep Space, at Earth, the Moon, Mars, and Beyond: Examples of Radiation Interactions and Effects. Space Science Reviews, 212(3), 1069–1106. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11214-017-0381-5
  • Jordan, A. P., Wilson, J. K., Schwadron, N. A., Spence, H. E., & Petro, N. E. (2018). A Framework to Determine the History of the Moon's Polar Ice. Lunar Polar Volatiles, 2087, 5003.
  • Schwadron, N. A., Rahmanifard, F., Wilson, J., Jordan, A. P., Spence, H. E., Joyce, C. J., et al. (2018). Update on the Worsening Particle Radiation Environment Observed by CRaTER and Implications for Future Human Deep-Space Exploration. Space Weather, 16(3), 289–303. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017SW001803

 

Interstellar Boundary

The solar wind, moving away from the sun, creates the bubble known as the heliosphere. At the outer boundary, the solar wind interacts with the interstellar medium. The solar wind first slows down at the "termination shock" where its speed changes from supersonic to subsonic, and then reaches the boundary of the heliosphere, called the heliopause, where the solar wind is in pressure balance with the interstellar medium. In recent years, this boundary has been studied both in situ, using measurements from Voyager, and remotely, using observations of interstellar neutral atoms, from the IBEX mission.

Recent Publications

  • Schwadron, N. A., & Bzowski, M. (2018). The Heliosphere Is Not Round. The Astrophysical Journal, 862(1), 11. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aacbcf
  • Schwadron, N. A., & McComas, D. J. (2017). Effects of Solar Activity on the Local Interstellar Magnetic Field Observed by Voyager 1 and IBEX. The Astrophysical Journal, 849(2), 135. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aa8fd5
  • Galli, A., Wurz, P., Schwadron, N. A., Kucharek, H., Möbius, E., Bzowski, M., Sokół, J. M., Kubiak, M. A., Fuselier, S. A., Funsten, H. O., & McComas, D. J. (2017). The Downwind Hemisphere of the Heliosphere: Eight Years of IBEX-Lo Observations. The Astrophysical Journal, 851(1), 2. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aa988f
  • Baliukin, I. I., Izmodenov, V. V., Möbius, E., Alexashov, D. B., Katushkina, O. A., & Kucharek, H. (2017). Secondary Interstellar Oxygen in the Heliosphere: Numerical Modeling and Comparison with IBEX-Lo Data. The Astrophysical Journal, 850(2), 119. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aa93e8
  • McComas, D. J., Zirnstein, E. J., Bzowski, M., Dayeh, M. A., Funsten, H. O., Fuselier, S. A., Janzen, P. H., Kubiak, M. A., Kucharek, H., Möbius, E., Reisenfeld, D. B., Schwadron, N. A., Sokół, J. M., Szalay, J. R., & Tokumaru, M. (2017). Seven Years of Imaging the Global Heliosphere with IBEX. The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 229(2), 41. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4365/aa66d8
  • Park, J., Kucharek, H., Möbius, E., Galli, A., Kubiak, M. A., Bzowski, M., & McComas, D. J. (2016). IBEX Observations of Secondary Interstellar Helium and Oxygen Distributions. The Astrophysical Journal, 833(2), 130. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/833/2/130

 

Parker Solar Probe

Launched Aug 12, 2018

The Parker Solar Probe is a NASA Solar-Terrestrial Probes mission that will travel closer to the sun than any previous mission.  At its closest approach, it will be within 9 Solar Radii of the sun's surface.  Parker Solar Probe will study the origin and evolution of the solar wind. The University of New Hampshire operates the science operations center for the Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun, which is an instrument suite consisting of two energetic particle instruments, EPI-Lo and EPI-Hi. 

 

Interstellar Boundary Explorer

Launched Oct 19, 2008

The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission is a NASA Small Explorer mission designed to investigate the nature of the interactions between the solar wind and the interstellar medium at the edge of the solar system.  It has two instruments, IBEX-Lo and IBEX-Hi, that measure neutral particles that originate at the interstellar boundary. UNH designed and built the time-of-flight section of the IBEX-Lo instrument and designed and built collimators for both IBEX-Lo and IBEX-Hi. UNH is also the lead for the IBEX Science Operations Center, and the data from the mission are now available.  

 

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Launched June 18, 2009

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was a first step in planning for a return of humans to the moon.  The mission is designed to look for landing sites and resources, and to characterize the environment. UNH is the lead for the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radation (CRaTER) instrument. CRaTER is deisgned to characaterize the lunar radiation environment and its biological impacts.

 

Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory

Launched Oct 25, 2006

The NASA Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) mission uses two nearly identical spacecraft in orbit about the Sun to provide a unique and revolutionary view of the Sun-Earth system. The strategic placement of the two spacecraft allows for the first time a stereoscopic (3-D) view of the Sun and the interplanetary space environment out to the orbit of the Earth.  Of particular interest to this mission is the origin, propagation and evolution of coronal mass ejections (CMEs). CMEs are the primary cause of major space weather disturbances at the Earth. The STEREO Science Data Center provides more detailed mission data.

The STEREO payload combines remote imaging of the Sun and its eruptions with in-situ sampling of the particles and fields that subsequently flow past the spacecraft. UNH is the lead for the Plasma and Suprathermal Composition (PLASTIC) instrument, which measures the bulk properties of the solar wind ions, as well as solar wind composition and suprathermal particles.  The PLASTIC consortium includes the University of New Hampshire, the University of Bern, the Max Planck Institute, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, under the overall direction of the University of New Hampshire (Dr. A.B. Galvin, PI). PLASTIC data, summary plots, and documentation are now available. 

 

Advanced Composition Explorer

Launched Aug 25, 1997

The Advance Composition Explorer (ACE) is a NASA Explorers mission to study solar wind, solar energetic particles and cosmic rays. In addition, ACE provides a real-time space weather data stream that is used for giving advance warning for geomagnetic storms. UNH has two roles for this spacecraft.  Eberhard Moebius is the lead for the Solar Energetic Particle Ionic Charge Analyzer (SEPICA) instrument, and the instrument was designed and built at UNH in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute. Chuck Smith is a co-investigator on the ACE Magnetometer and is the data manager for that instrument. Find out more about the ACE/MAG Project, the ACE Science Center, and the ACE real-time solar wind conditions.