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Wide Band Data (WBD)


Mission Name: Cluster96
Principal Investigator:Prof. Donald A. Gurnett


The WBD (Wide Band Data) investigation is designed to provide high-resolution frequency/time spectra of plasma waves in the Earth's magnetosphere. As part of the Wave Experiments Consortium (WEC), this instrument provides measurements of both electric and magnetic fields in selected frequency bands from 25 Hz to 577 KHz. Continuous waveforms are digitized, formatted, and transferred to the spacecraft telemetry system using either a 220 Kbps real-time mode or a 73 Kbps burst mode. The real-time data require direct acquisition by a NASA Deep Space Network receiving station, and the burst-mode data are stored on the spacecraft tape recorder for later playback. On the ground the waveforms are Fourier transformed to provide high-resolution frequency/time spectrograms. The extremely high (microsecond) time resolution provided by the WBD measurements will make it possible to utilize the signals from two or more of the Cluster spacecraft to perform very-long-baseline-interferometer measurements. The WBD instrument processes signals from one of four selectable sensors: two electric field signals (from the EFW experiment) and two magnetic field signals (from the STAFF). The EFW sensors are spherical electric antennas with sphere-to-sphere separation of about 100 m after full deployment. The STAFF sensors are search coil magnetometers with the measurement axis in the spin plane (By) or along the spin axis (Bz). Commanding of the WBD instrument is managed by the DWP instrument. In the burst data recording mode, the WBD data are transferred to the DWP at 220 Kbps. Then the DWP reduces the wideband data by a factor of three by digital filtering and re-sampling, and sends the lower rate data to the spacecraft data system for recording and subsequent playback. 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 Wideband Plasma Wave Investigation,'' by D. A. Gurnett et al., from which this information was obtained.

Alternate Names

  • Cluster96/WBD
  • WBD

Facts in Brief

Mass: 1.67 kg
Power (avg): 1.6 W
Bit rate (avg): 73 kbps

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)


  • 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. Les J.C. WoolliscroftCo-InvestigatorUniversity of Sheffield
Prof. Robert A. HelliwellCo-InvestigatorStanford
Dr. Eigil UngstrupCo-InvestigatorDanish Space Research
Dr. Gerhard HaerendelCo-InvestigatorMax-Planck-Institut fur Extraterrestrische
Mr. Gerald S. LevyCo-InvestigatorNASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Dr. Georg GustafssonCo-InvestigatorSwedish Institute for Space
Dr. Alain RouxCo-InvestigatorCentre National d'Etudes des
Dr. Jean-Louis Henry BougeretCo-InvestigatorObservatoire de Paris,
Prof. Umran S. InanCo-InvestigatorStanford
Prof. Robert L. MutelCo-InvestigatorUniversity of
Dr. Bent M. PedersenCo-InvestigatorObservatoire de Paris,
Dr. Patrick CanuCo-InvestigatorCentre National d'Etudes des
Mr. Warren L. MartinCo-InvestigatorNASA Jet Propulsion
Prof. Steven R. SpanglerCo-InvestigatorUniversity of
Dr. Gerard DaigneCo-InvestigatorObservatoire de
Prof. Donald A. GurnettPrincipal InvestigatorUniversity of Iowa

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.
  • Gurnett, D. A., et al., The wideband plasma wave investigation, in Cluster: Mission, Payload, and Supporting Activities, ESA SP-1159, pp. 69-79, Mar. 1993.
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