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Space plasma mission

Interball The international Interball mission consists of four spacecraft equipped by an international consortium and launched by the Russian Space Agency. Two of the satellites, called INTERBALL-1, were launched into a high apogee elliptical orbit around the Earth (apogee: 200 000 km) and two (INTERBALL-2) into an excentric polar orbit (apogee: 20 000 km over the northern hemisphere. Both pairs of satellites consist of a Prognoz-type main satellite and a free-flying Magion-type Czech subsatellite. Interball, along with the already launched > GEOTAIL, POLAR, WIND and SOHO, a cornerstone project of the European Space Agency, as well as > EQUATOR-S are all spaceborn contributions to the > International Solar Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) Science Initiative.
Interball, the tail probes, were launched on August 2, 1995 at 22:00 UT (or 01:00 on August 3, 1995 Moscow Time) from the Russian Plesetzk launch site.

> Science objectives
> MPS contribution
> FGM-1
> Related links
> Interball publications by MPS members

Science objectives

High latitude magnetopause observations

Using the highly excentric orbit of Interball the magnetic field measurements of the German fluxgate magnetometer FGM-1 during high latitude magnetopause crossings were analyzed. The strong oscillations, observed during a period of reular solar wind flow (i.e. without pressure pulses etc.) were compared with MHD-simulations of a Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) unstable magnetopause current layer. The surface wave signatures produced by MHD simulations remind the observed ones. This was used as an indication of a KH unstable high-latitude magnetopause.

Magnetotail observations

INTERBALL-1 tail magnetic field observations of the fluxgate magnetometer > FGM-1 were compared with GISMO three-dimensional fully kinetic electromagnetic particle simulations and with > GEOTAIL observations.


MPS contribution

Interball is an international four-spacecraft mission of the Russian Space Agency in cooperation with space research institutes in Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany and Sweden.

The Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung participates as a PI institution in the INTERBALL-1 mission as a member of the Wave-and Field Consortium > ASPI. The ASPI-consortium includes, e.g., the German fluxgate magnetometer > FGM-1 onboard the tail-probe and the fluctuation-device IFP-I.

Based on the corresponding German Space Agency DARA and Max-Planck-Gesellschaft financed hardware contribution and also on the multi-spacecraft mission oriented MPS modeling efforts institute scientists held, additionally, several Co-Investigator functions of the INTERBALL-1 mission.


Related links

See also the > Interball homepage of the Moscow Space Research Institut for more information about the project.

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