29 September 2010

Ten Years of Cluster

The highly successful Cluster mission celebrates its 10th anniversary this month.

The four spacecraft of the ESA Cluster mission have enabled scientists to probe the workings of the Earth's magnetosphere and enabled the most detailed
investigation ever of the interaction between the Sun and the Earth. Cluster was the first mission to use four identical spacecraft which enable it to
distinguish between temporal and spatial variations within the magnetosphere.

The University of Sheffield has played important role in the mission. Firstly one of the scientific payload instruments, the Digital Wave Processor, was built by the Space Instrumentation Group in the Department of Automatic Control & Systems Enginering. Secondly, the Space Instrumentation Group is responsible for preparing the weekly commanding of the five instruments that form the Wave Experiment Consortium.

The Cluster mission has been approved to continue until 2012 and will continue to provide a high quality data archive resource further into the future.

A full article description of the ten years of the Cluster mission is available from the Wiley Online Library (Astronomy & Geophysics, Volume 51, Issue 5):
10 years of the Cluster mission
News review entry

Further information about the Cluster mission is available from the European Space Agency website:
http://sci.esa.int/cluster