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Voyager 2 PLS High Resolution Solar Wind Plasma Parameters


Availability: At NSSDC, Ready for Electronic Access

Time span: 1977-08-21 to 2006-02-02


This data collection contains high-resolution samples of solar wind parameters for interplanetary cruise data acquired by the Voyager 2 Plasma Science (PLS) experiment. The data are written in ASCII format and provided in files named V2_HIRES_yyyy.ASC, each covering one year of data for year "yyyy". Each key parameter record includes year, day, decimal hour, proton bulk speed (km/s), proton density (#/cc), proton thermal width (km/s), where proton temperature T(eV) = 0.0052(width)**2, and vector components (Vr, Vt, Vn) for proton bulk velocity in the RTN coordinate system. In RTN the R axis is outward from the Sun to the spacecraft, T is the cross product of the solar rotation axis and R, and N completes the orthogonal system. The plasma parameters are obtained by finding the best fit of a convected isotropic Maxwellian distribution to the data. Errors are typically less than 0.5 percent in the bulk speed and Vr component, less than five percent for the density and thermal speed, and vary greatly for Vt and Vn. Sampling times range from 12 to 192 sec, the sampling rates being more frequent early in the mission. Some hourly intervals later in the mission have relatively few PLS data samples due to telemetry limitations.

This collection is available on-line at:

Alternate Names

  • High Resolution Solar Wind Data


  • Space Physics: Heliospheric Studies


  • 77-076A-06T

Additional Information



Questions and comments about this data collection can be directed to: Dr. John F. Cooper



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. John D. RichardsonGeneral ContactMassachusetts Institute of
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