NSSDC Acquires Prognoz Magnetic Field Data

Volume 16, Number 2, June 2000


By Natalia Papitashvili and Joseph King


Between 1972 and 1985 the Soviet Union launched ten spacecraft in the Prognoz series into geocentric elliptic orbits. These spacecraft were intended to study the plasma environment of the Earth’s magnetosphere and the nearby solar wind.

Among the instruments flown on many of these spacecraft was a fluxgate magnetometer provided by a team at the Space Magnetic Research Laboratory of the Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere, and Radio Wave Propagation (IZMIRAN) near Moscow. On the Prognoz 6, 7, and 9 missions these magnetometers produced 10-sec magnetic field data that have recently been added to the NSSDC archive.

The time periods and altitude ranges of these data are as follows:

Prognoz 6: Sept. 1977 to Jan. 1978; 500 - 200,000 km.
Prognoz 7: Nov. 1978 to May 1979; 500 - 203,000 km.
Prognoz 9: July 1983 to Feb. 1984; 45,000 - 560,000 km.

The data restoration effort at IZMIRAN was led by Dr. Valeri Petrov with some support from competitive NASA Office of Space Science data restoration funding. The data records are in ASCII and contain magnetic field and spacecraft position Cartesian components in GSE and GSM coordinates.

The data are available from NSSDC's anonymous area either directly or through the FTP Helper interface discussed elsewhere in this newsletter. Either pathway is available at http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/ftphelper/.

NSSDC's Web page for Prognoz at http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/space/space_phys/nprognoz.html contains links to these data, to Prognoz 10 data available from the Applied Physics Laboratory, to Prognoz/Interball data on CDAWeb, and to the Prognoz Web page at Moscow’s Space Research Institute.

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Author: Miranda Beall
Curator: Natalie Barnes
Responsible Official: Dr. Joseph H. King, Code 633
Last Revised: 11 July 2000 [NAB]