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The AMPTE (Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorers) mission was designed to study the access of solar-wind ions to the magnetosphere, the convective-diffusive transport and energization of magnetospheric particles, and the interactions of plasmas in space. The program consisted of three spacecraft: the CCE, which measured in the magnetosphere the ions released by the IRM; the IRM, which provided multiple ion releases in the solar wind, the magnetosheath, and the magnetotail, with in situ diagnostics of each; and the UKS. The UKS was one spacecraft of the AMPTE (Active Magnetosphere Particle Tracer Experiment) program (along with CCE and IRM) and served as a subsatellite of the IRM spacecraft. Its purpose was to help distinguish between spatial structure and temporal changes in the plasma phenomena initiated by ion releases from the IRM and in the natural magnetospheric environment. Measured quantitie were similar to those of the IRM and include magnetic fields, positive ions, electrons, plasma waves, and modulations in ions and electrons. The spacecraft was spin-stabilized at 12 rpm and employed S-band communications. It carried a cold gas propulsion system and a VHF radar system for station keeping with the IRM normally at a distance of a few hundred kilometers. The lead investigator for the UKS spacecraft was D. A. Bryant. The spacecraft power supply failed on January 15, 1985. For more details, see A.K. Ward, et al., IEEE Transaction on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Vol. GE-23, p 202, 1985.

Alternate Names

  • 15201
  • AMPTE/United Kingdom Subsatellite
  • UK Subsatellite
  • UKS
  • United Kingdom Subsatellite

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1984-08-16
Launch Vehicle: Delta
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 77 kg

Funding Agency

  • Science and Engineering Research Council, UK (United Kingdom)


  • Space Physics

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. Timothy E. Eastman



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Trefor EdwardsProject EngineerRutherford Appleton
Dr. A. K. WardProject ManagerRutherford Appleton Laboratory
Dr. Duncan A. BryantProject ScientistRutherford Appleton

Other AMPTE Data/Information at NSSDCA


Other Sources of AMPTE Data/Information

AMPTE Science Data Center
AMPTE/IRM Data Center

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