Levon Avanov from the Space Research Institute (IKI) in Moscow visited the Space Science Data Operations Office (SSDOO) for about a month this past November 1997. Dr. Avanov is associated with the SKA-1 plasma instrument on the Interball Tail satellite. His primary purpose in coming to NASA was to put his high resolution three-dimensional plasma number flux data into the Common Data Format (CDF) adopted by the International Solar-Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) program and by Interball through the Inter-Agency Consultative Group (IACG).
Levon Avanov, left with Ramona Kessel, visited NSSDC to work with Interball plasma data.
The complex plasma spectrometer SKA-1 is intended to measure the energy, charge, mass, and angular distributions of plasmas in the Earth's magnetosphere. SKA-1 has two detectors, one sunward-looking (along the Interball Tail spin axis, approximately X-GSE) and one anti-sunward-looking. There are four elevation angles for each, making a total of eight angles from X-GSE at 2, 17, 40, 65, 115, 140, 163, and 178 degrees. In addition there are eight azimuthal directions associated roughly with the y-z plane. Three-dimensional measurements of ion number flux (from 0.05 to 5 keV/Q) are obtained in about ten seconds. The instrument is primarily operated in burst mode to obtain the highest time resolution data through the Earth's magnetospheric boundaries.
Interball Tail was launched August 2, 1995, and has been collecting data since that time. Key Physical Parameters in CDF have been supplied from other instruments, but SKA-1 was not included in that effort. Dr. Avanov successfully generated 3-D distributions in CDF for a couple of time periods as well as some 2-D distributions (summed over azimuth) that were loaded into a protected area on CDAWeb. The next step is to put solar wind flow parameters at both ten-second and minute resolution into CDF. It is expected that these latter data will be publicly available within the next year. The 2-D and 3-D data are being supplied to NSSDC for specific events as the team at IKI led by Dr. Oleg Vaisberg is able to produce them. These data will initially be proprietary, and it will be necessary to apply to Dr. Vaisberg for permission to use them.
While visiting this area, Dr. Avanov was able on the weekends to get in some sightseeing of the nation's capital. His visit overlapped with Thanksgiving, so he had a taste of a holiday not celebrated elsewhere in the world. His impressions of the U.S., which he was visiting for the first time, were positive. The month at SSDOO was well spent and successful, and a useful collaboration was established.
Erin D. Gardner, email@example.com, (301) 286-0163
Raytheon STX, Code 633, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771, U.S.A.