Additional Reports:
 •  Annual Report for 2000-2001.

 •  Annual Report for 1999-2000.

 •  Annual Report for 1998-1999.

 •  Annual Report for 1997-1998.

 •  Annual Report for 1996-1997.

 •  Annual Report for 1994-1995.




The Space Physics Group has five major thrusts: instrumentation for space flight and ground-based programs; the analysis of scientific data from space and ground-based measurement programs; the dissemination of observations from the ground and space projects to the community; fostering communication in the space physics community; and furthering education in space physics. Below we briefly summarize our activities in each of these areas.


Presently we are developing two new instruments. The first is an inexpensive vector magnetometer for ground-based studies. Our target cost is $5,000. We plan to install 22 of these units in a 2D array in China; one in Mexico; one in Peru; 20 in the US and three in Canada. Most of the funding for these magnetometers has been secured. We installed the first two units in China in July 1996. Guan Le is the scientific lead for this development. Joe Means and Don Dearborn are in charge of the engineering effort. The second instrument being developed is a scalar proton free-precession magnetometer for a rocket launch and eventual space flight. The new feature of this instrument is that, unlike most scalar magnetometers, it has no dead zones and hence will work on a spinning spacecraft. Bob Strangeway is the scientific lead for this development with Joe Means leading the engineering development. Finally, Bob Snare, Debbie Huddleston and graduate student, Tamitha Mulligan, have been assisting with the test and integration of the fluxgate magnetometer on the Cassini spacecraft due for launch in 1997.


The year 1996 has been a tremendous year for the Space Physics Group's analysis effort as three missions in which it is heavily involved have been launched: the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission in February; the POLAR mission also in February; and the FAST mission in August. The NEAR mission will perform a geophysical and geochemical study of the asteroid 433 Eros, arriving in 1999. C. T. Russell is a member of the magnetometer team. The POLAR spacecraft is in a 9x2 Re polar orbit studying the high altitude, high latitude magnetosphere and the aurora. C. T. Russell is the Principal Investigator of the POLAR magnetometer. Guan Le, Hedi Kawano and Xiao wen Zhou have been assisting with the initial analysis. The FAST mission is in a 400x4000 km polar orbit returning data principally on magnetospheric processes occurring above the auroral zones. The Space Physics Group engineers built the search coil and fluxgate magnetometer for this spacecraft. Bob Strangeway is leading the UCLA analysis of the data from this mission.

In addition to these new launches, the Space Physics Group is involved in the analysis of data from the ongoing missions Alexis and Galileo as well as data from earlier missions. The Alexis mission is a low-altitude (800km) moderate inclination mission that carries a high- frequency (HF) radio receiver. The surprising observation with this instrument was the appearance of Trans-Ionospheric Pulse Pairs, two broad-band dispersed signals separated by about 30 īsec, possibly associated with lightning. Space Physics Group personnel, Bob Strangeway and C. T. Russell, together with students Chris Casler and Rick Zuelsdorf have assisted in the analysis of these data and together with Bob Franz of Los Alamos found that TIPPs were caused by cloud-to-cloud lightning strokes.

In December 1995 Galileo entered Jovian orbit. C. T. Russell, an Interdisciplinary scientist on Galileo, and Debbie Huddleston have been assisting in the analysis of the magnetometer measurements and the general interpretation of the magnetospheric measurements.

The members of the Space Physics Group also continue to analyze data from earlier missions, notably Pioneer Venus and ISEE. Bob Strangeway is studying the behavior of electromagnetic pulses in the Venus ionosphere and the reaction of the ionosphere to these pulses. Guan Le is examining the nature of the distribution functions of ions and electrons found in the magnetospheric low-latitude boundary layer and the features called fluxtransfer events. Graduate student Jennifer Newbury is engaged in studying solar wind electrons as seen on ISEE-3 and Ulysses and the dissipation processes at the bow shock seen in the ISEE1 and 2 data.


Due to our long involvement in Space Physics research, we have built a tremendous data base of measurements of the solar terrestrial system. As part of NSF's Global Environmental Measurement program and later in cooperation with the Space Physics Data System, we set up systems for the dissemination of those data to the community. We originally set up an on-line data base of IMP-8 data. We then developed a web-based distribution system for this effort. Recently we added POLAR magnetometer data to this system. We are now adding two more large data bases. With a grant from the SPDS, Guan Le is providing on-line access to the ground-based magnetometer data obtained during the IMS (1977+) and Bob Strangeway is providing on-line access to the ISEE1 and 2 magnetometer data.


The Space Physics Group has taken the lead in fostering communication in the discipline as part of the NSF's Global Environment Monitoring program as well as for the American Geophysical Union's Space Physics and Aeronomy section. Guan Le serves as editor for the electronic and hard copy newsletters, the GEM Messenger and the GEM Stone. These appear about once a month and semiannually respectively. Guan Le also serves as the editor of AGU/SPA's electronic newsletter, SPA News, which appears twice a week on average. She is also the editor of the SPA web pages that provide access to information on meetings, publications and links to other members of the community.


There are four major developments in education from the Space Physics Group. First, there is its development of the interactive Space Physics educational software, also known as Xspace. We continue to update and distribute this package. Second, we continue to participate in the International Space Physics Education Consortium that is fostering and coordinating computer-based instruction in Space Physics. Third, C. T. Russell is the Director of UCLA's branch of the California Space Grant activities. Fourth, the book Introduction to Space Physics, edited by M. G. Kivelson and C. T. Russell continues to sell well. In fact it was into its second printing even before its first anniversary.


Hideaki (Hedi) Kawano from the University of Tokyo continued his extended visit with us through 1996, finally being able to analyze the data from the POLAR spacecraft, the original reason for his visit.

Tom Higuchi from the Institute for Statistical Analysis in Japan joined us in March 1996 and will stay through the end of the year.

For shorter periods we were joined by Yasha Feldstein, Eugene Romashets, and Galina Korotova from IZMIRAN, by Michael Gedalin from Ben Gurion University, by Yeugeny Yeroshenko of IZMIRAN, and Oleg Vaisberg, Sasha Podgorny and Yuri Yermolaev of the Space Research Institute in Moscow.


Gretchen M. Lindsay Ph.D.
Thomas Meseroll M.S.

Programs - Projects - Products - Activities - Members