NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header




Ionosonde is a ionospheric satellite launched as part of the Russian Cosmos satellites series (Cosmos-1809). The three-axes stabilized spacecraft was placed in a 960 circular orbit at 81 degrees inclination. The Ionosonde instrument package includes the following: (1) A topside sounder (IS-338, 0.3-15.95 MHz, 338 frequency steps) measuring plasma density profiles above the F peak; (2) An impedance probe (IZ-2) measuring the insitu plasma concentration; (3) A high-frequency probe (KM-9) measuring electron temperatures, electron spectra up to 5-6 eV, and total ion density; (4) A mass spectrometer (NAM-4) measuring ion densities and composition; (5) A photoelectron spectrometer measuring photoelectron fluxes in the 10 eV to 15 eV range; (6) An electric field instrument (DEP) measuring two components of the DC electric field and the spacecraft potential; (7) A VLF wave instrument (ANCh-2ME) measuring between 70 Hz and 20 kHz; and (8) A wide-band receiver with own wide-band telemetry transmitter measuring between 0.1 MHz and 50 MHz. The ionosonde, the mass spectrometer and the photoelectron spectrometer ceased operations in 1987. Data and detailed information about observations periods between December 1986 and June 1992 may be obtained from the Dr. Romanovsky at the Institute of Applied Geophysics in Moscow, Russia. The spacecraft is currently deactivated but can be re-activated if funding becomes available. In May and June 1987, the nuclear icebreaker "Siberia" recorded ionosonde measurements, which were coordinated with the Ionosonde satellite observations.

Alternate Names

  • Cosmos 1809
  • 17241

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1986-12-18
Launch Vehicle: F-2
Launch Site: Plesetsk, U.S.S.R
Mass: 700 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (U.S.S.R)


  • Space Physics

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. Dieter K. Bilitza



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Alexander Ya. FeldsteinGeneral ContactWorld Data Center B2 for Solar-Terrestrial Physics (USSR)
Dr. Yu RomanovskyGeneral ContactInstitute of Applied
Dr. Sergey A. PulinetsGeneral

Selected References

  • Romanovsky, Yu., and S. A. Pulinets, The availability of data in the former Soviet Union - Part 3: Ionosonde, STEP International, 3, No. 3, Mar. 1993.
[] NASA Logo -