Cluster/Ground-Based Data Centre

Coordinated Ground-Based Observations With ESA's CLUSTER mission

To facilitate the coordination of ground-based observations with those from Cluster, we provide three classes of information:
Event Identification
A classification of "interesting" conjunctions between the Cluster satellites and an arbitrary ground-based observatory.
Orbit and Event Predictions
Predictions of orbits and Cluster "events". This information will describe when the various interesting conjunctions occur.
Tools to enable you to describe your operating plans, and feed information into the Cluster planning cycle.

Event Identification

In order to plan co-ordinated observations we have followed the CLUSTER Science Plan by dividing all CLUSTER observations periods into 4 magnetic local time (MLT) sectors, 6 hours around 0 MLT, 6 MLT, 12MLT and 18 MLT. We also consider any one ground-based observatory simultaneously in one of the same four sectors, making 16 combinations. For each there are a number of points along each CLUSTER orbit for which co-ordinated observations are of special interest. We have defined 67 such conjunctions and configurations for:

We have made an initial assessment of a full list of potential scientific objectives for each numbered conjunction/configuration. Please note this list is incomplete - please send comments and corrections to the GBDC at RAL. Information on the potential science of each of the 67 configurations/conjunctions is available via the orbit plots (click on relevant number).

Orbit and Event Prediction

Orbit details provided to us by the Cluster JSOC describes the orbit in terms of CLUSTER "events", which are the points when the orbit enters or crosses various magnetospheric regions. There is now a proposed Cluster Master Science Plan in the form of a PostScript plot. This diagram shows the first six months of Cluster orbits, with the proposed data-taking times. Note that these are proposals. If you feel that there is a strong scientific case for changing the plan, and that data-taking should happen at different times, then you must communicate your concerns to Hermann Opgenoorth ( or Mike Lockwood for there to be some chance of changing these proposals.



12-JAN-1996 Richard Stamper