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Electric Field and Waves (EFW)


Mission Name: Cluster96
Principal Investigator:Dr. Georg Gustafsson


The EFW (Electric Field and Waves) instrument consists of four orthogonal spherical sensors deployed from 50 m cable booms in the spin plane of the spacecraft, plus four deployment units and a main electronics unit. Each deployment unit deploys a multiconductor cable and tip-mounted spherical sensor. Each opposing pair of cables will be symmetrically deployed to a tip-to-tip distance of approximately 100 m, except for about a week at the beginning of the mission when 70 m will be used for one boom pair (the Z-booms) and 100 m for the other pair. The potentials of the spherical sensor and nearby conductors are controlled by the microprocessor to minimize errors associated with photoelectron fluxes to and from the spheres. Output signals from the sensor preamplifiers are provided to the wave instruments for analysis of high frequency wave phenomena. There is a 1 MB burst memory and tow fast A/D conversion circuits for recording electric field wave forms for time resolutions of up to 36,000 samples/s. Data gathered in the burst memory will be played back through the telemetry stream allocated to the instrument by pre-empting a portion of the real-time data. Incoming data are continuously monitored by algorithms in the software to determine whether to trigger the burst-playback mode. A large number of sampling modes is possible, yielding four possible telemetry rates from 1.440--29.440 Kbps. This data stream is transferred via the DWP instrument. The main measured quantities will be, in various modes: (1) the instantaneous spin-plane components of the electric field vector, from 0.1--700 V/Km, with time resolution down to 0.1 ms, in four frequency ranges from DC to upper limits of 10 Hz, 180 Hz, 4 KHz, or 32 KHz; (2) the AC electric field components from 10 Hz to 8 KHz, within the dynamic range of ~3 mV/Km to 10 V/Km; (3) plasma density fluctuations within the range of 1--100/cm and in three frequency ranges from 0 Hz to upper limits of 10 Hz, 180 Hz, or 4 KHz; and, (4) density and temperature (in Langmuir sweeps) in the eV range, with a dynamic range of 1--100/cm. There is also a frequency counter covering the range 10--200 KHz. On-board calculations of least-square fits to the electric field data over one spacecraft spin period (4 s) will provide a baseline of high-quality two-dimensional electric field components that are present in the telemetry stream, except for periods when three or four sensors are in current mode. The spacecraft potential is calculated and transmitted via DWP to other instruments on board. The three components from the search coil instrument (WHISPER) are also available in EFW with a bandwidth of 4 KHz. For more details of the Cluster mission, the spacecraft, and its instruments, see the report ``Cluster: mission, payload and supporting activities,'' March 1993, ESA SP-1159, and the included article ``The Spherical Probe Electric Field and Wave Experiment for the Cluster Mission,'' by G. Gustafsson et al., from which this information was obtained.

Alternate Names

  • Cluster96/EFW
  • EFW

Facts in Brief

Mass: 15.4 kg
Power (avg): 3.7 W
Bit rate (avg): 1.44 kbps

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (Sweden)


  • Space Physics: Zodiacal Light/Interplanet Dust
  • Space Physics: Magnetospheric Studies

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. Ramona L. Kessel



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Arne PedersenCo-InvestigatorESA-European Space Research and Technology
Dr. Les J.C. WoolliscroftCo-InvestigatorUniversity of Sheffield
Dr. Thomas L. AggsonCo-InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Dr. Alv A. EgelandCo-InvestigatorUniversity of
Prof. Forrest S. MozerCo-InvestigatorUniversity of California,
Prof. Donald A. GurnettCo-InvestigatorUniversity of Iowa
Prof. Rolf BostromCo-InvestigatorSwedish Institute for Space
Prof. Carle-Gunne FalthammarCo-InvestigatorRoyal Institute of
Prof. Lars Peter BlockCo-InvestigatorRoyal Institute of Technology
Dr. Paul J. KelloggCo-InvestigatorUniversity of
Dr. Eivind V. ThraneCo-InvestigatorUniversity of
Dr. Nelson C. MaynardCo-InvestigatorPhillips Laboratory (nee USAF Geophysics Lab, nee Cambridge Labs)
Dr. Jan A. HoltetCo-InvestigatorUniversity of
Dr. Christopher C. HarveyCo-InvestigatorObservatoire de Paris,
Dr. Rejean J. L. GrardCo-InvestigatorESA-European Space Research and Technology
Prof. Pekka J. TanskanenCo-InvestigatorUniversity of
Dr. Paul M. KintnerCo-InvestigatorCornell
Mr. Bengt HolbackCo-InvestigatorSwedish Institute for Space
Mr. Gunnar HolmgrenCo-InvestigatorSwedish Institute for Space
Dr. Alain RouxCo-InvestigatorCentre National d'Etudes des
Dr. Cynthia A. CattellCo-InvestigatorUniversity of California,
Dr. Kristof StasiewiczCo-InvestigatorSwedish Institute for Space Physics
Dr. Pierrette DecreauCo-InvestigatorCNRS, Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l'
Dr. Michael SmiddyCo-InvestigatorPhillips Laboratory (nee USAF Geophysics Lab, nee Cambridge Labs)
Dr. John R. WygantCo-InvestigatorUniversity of California,
Mr. Per-Arne LindqvistCo-InvestigatorRoyal Institute of
Dr. Howard J. SingerCo-InvestigatorPhillips Laboratory (nee USAF Geophysics Lab, nee Cambridge Labs)
Dr. Michael A. TemerinCo-InvestigatorUniversity of California,
Dr. Robert F. PfaffCo-InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight
Dr. Jean-Pierre LebretonCo-InvestigatorESA-European Space Research and Technology Centre
Dr. Stanislav I. KlimovCo-InvestigatorInstitut Kosmicheskich Issledovaniya (IKI)
Dr. Goran T. MarklundCo-InvestigatorRoyal Institute of
Mr. Robert ManningCo-InvestigatorObservatoire de Paris, Meudon
Dr. Ilan RothCo-InvestigatorUniversity of California,
Dr. Rudolf J. SchmidtCo-InvestigatorESA-European Space Research and Technology
Dr. Kalevi MursulaCo-InvestigatorUniversity of
Dr. Georg GustafssonPrincipal InvestigatorSwedish Institute for Space

Selected References

  • Lefeuvre, F., et al., The wave experiment consortium, in Cluster: Mission, Payload, and Supporting Activities, ESA SP-1159, pp. 5-15, Mar. 1993.
  • Gustafsson, G., et al., The spherical probe electric field and wave experiment for the Cluster mission, in Cluster: Mission, Payload, and Supporting Activities, ESA SP-1159, pp. 17-31, Mar. 1993.
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