Thematic Group: PEPS
Scientific Leader: Iannis Dandouras
Main OSU: Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées

Description / Background

Cluster is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission that uses four satellites in a tetrahedral configuration in an eccentric orbit around the Earth to study the interactions between the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere.

Scientific Objectives and instrumentation

The objective of the CLUSTER mission is to study the three-dimensional interaction of the solar wind with the Earth’s magnetosphere. In particular, the measurements obtained on board these satellites make it possible, for the first time, to unambiguously discriminate temporal variations from spatial variations and to determine the shape and dynamics of the three-dimensional structures of magnetospheric plasmas.

The aim of the CIS experiment (Cluster Ion Spectrometry) on board the Cluster satellites is to measure the complete ion distribution functions with high temporal resolution and to determine their composition simultaneously.
It includes two ion detection instruments, HIA (Hot Ion Analyser) and CODIF (COmposition Distribution Function).

Involvement of IRAP

Primary responsibility for the CIS experience.


International consortium comprising several European and American institutes.