New Interball-Tail Magnetic Field Data Available

By Ramona Kessel

NSSDC has recently acquired definitive magnetometer data from the 1995-launched Russian Interball-Tail spacecraft for the years 1995-1997. These data are available on CDAWeb at in the Public Data from Current Space Physics Missions database. The data consist of magnetic field magnitude and Cartesian and polar components in GSE coordinates. The data are at 6-sec resolution and were prepared and submitted by Dr. Valery G. Petrov of the Space Magnetic Research Laboratory in IZMIRAN, Troitsk, Russia with some NASA support. The later 6-sec magnetometer data from the still-active Interball-Tail spacecraft are expected to be archived at NSSDC at a later date.

Magnetic field measurements on-board the Interball-Tail Probe are carried out by the FM-3I and MIF-M instruments. FM-3I consists of two flux-gate magnetometers (M1 and M2) covering two different ranges: 200 nT and 1000 nT. The M2 instrument is mostly used to perform the attitude control of the Interball-Tail spacecraft. M1magnetometer data are transmitted to the scientific SSNI telemetry system at rates 0.125-16 vectors/s depending on the instrument operating mode. The magnetic field data from the M2 magnetometer are transmitted at the rate 1 vector per 6 sec. to the BNS attitude control system. The MIF-M magnetometer has the following parameters: measured range 0.3-37.5 nT, frequency range 0-2 Hz, sampling rate from 1/4 to 8 measurements per second. The FM-3I M2 magnetometer failed in February 1996 while FM-3I M1 and MIF-M are still working. The PI and key scientists on FM-3I are M. Nozdrachev from the Space Research Institute (IKI), Moscow, Russia and V. Styazhkin from IZMIRAN, Troitsk, Russia. For MIF-M they are S. Romanov and M. Nozdrachev from IKI and V. Korepanov from SDD ASU, Lviv, Ukraine. Further details are available at

The recently acquired data are a combination of the data of all magnetometers, but preferentially FM-3I M1. If M1 data are absent for a time interval, then MIF-M data are used. If neither M1 nor MIF-M data are available, then FM-3I M2 data are used.

For several years NSSDC has been acquiring Interball-Tail one-minute magnetometer data as part of the ISTP key parameter database. These consist of vector magnetic field in GSE and GSM Cartesian coordinates as well as the magnetic field magnitude, and power in magnetic field fluctuations at 2 Hz and 725 Hz. In addition, Interball-Tail supplies other one-minute resolution key parameter data sets: ion and electron moments, energetic particle and ion composition data, and AKR radio emission fluxes. These data were prepared by A. Petrukovitch of IKI, Moscow, Russia and are accessible from CDAWeb for 1995-1998. Data for 1999 are expected in early 2001.

The 1996-launched Interball-Aurora also supplies one-minute magnetic field data and energetic particle data for 1996-1997. There is a ground-based component to the Interball program which supplies a polar cap activity index. Both Interball-Tail and Interball-Aurora have subsatellites supplied by the Czech Republic.

Interball is the key Russian contributor of data as part of the Inter-Agency Consultative Group (IACG)-sponsored multi-spacecraft, multi-national program. The objective of this program is to promote further understanding of the complex plasma environment surrounding the Earth, other planets, and in interplanetary space.

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Curator: Natalie Barnes
Responsible Official: Dr. Joseph H. King, Code 633
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