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PROJECT TITLE: ECSTRA — Energy Conversion and Transfer in the Solar Wind — Magnetosphere – Ionosphere System

Coordinator: Institute of Space Science


  • Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE)
  • The Centre d'Etudes Spatiales des Rayonnements in Toulouse


Project Director:


This project will investigate the sequence of conversion and transfer steps that lead the energy from its source in the solar wind to the sink in the ionosphere. Particular attention will be given to the relationship between processes in the magnetospheric boundary layers (like the plasma sheet boundary layer or the layers close to the magnetopause) and energy dissipation in the auroral ionosphere.

Project objectives:


The local processes leading to energy conversion will be examined by using tools specifically designed to take full advantage of the multipoint measurements capabilities of the Cluster mission. In order to explore the large scale energy transfer within the magnetosphere, additional data from low altitude satellites like Fast Auroral Snapshot Explorer (FAST), as well as ground observatories will be used. Key solar wind and geophysical parameters publicly available (e.g. solar wind Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) data, Kp, Dst and AE indices) will allow the examination of the global context.


Project webpage: