Hawkeye Data Made Accessible Via World Wide Web

Volume 11, Number 1, March 1995
By Scott Boardsen and Jim Green
A World Wide Web (WWW) home page has been created for the NASA/University of Iowa Hawkeye spacecraft. Hawkeye was launched on June 3, 1974, into a polar orbit with an inclination of nearly 90 degrees and apogee of 21 Re, and re-entered on April 28, 1978. Its mission was to study the high latitude magnetopause and high altitude cusp. As Hawkeye was one of only two spacecraft to transverse these regions on a periodic basis, its dataset is of continuing importance.

The home page includes a brief description of Hawkeye and its mission, an instrument overview, and a dataset overview. The brief description includes a schematic of the orbit and a list of all publications using the Hawkeye data. The instrument overview describes the three basic instruments on the spacecraft, the plasma wave instrument, the electrostatic plasma analyzer, and the fluxgate magnetometer.

The dataset overview includes low time resolution (~5 minute) summary plots of the entire dataset (with solar wind data added), and information on how to access the high resolution data archived at NSSDC. The summary plots help the user identify time intervals of interest; ascertain whether data exist for a particular time period of study and, if they exist, help the user in identifying the region of geospace the spacecraft was in; and give the user a sense of how the data vary as Hawkeye transverses from one region of geospace to another. Users can then electronically request and access the high resolution data and the software necessary to read the data. The data are in native binary format, and the software (provided by the University of Iowa) must be run in a VMS environment.

The dataset overview also shows an example of a reconnection event observed by the spacecraft poleward of the cusp during a period of strong northward IMF. Reconnection at high latitudes is poorly understood, partly due to the lack of observational papers on high latitude reconnection. Hawkeye can significantly add to the knowledge of high latitude reconnection.

Three future enhancements to Hawkeye data accessibility and usability are in preparation. One is an educational/tutorial section on interpretation of the data in Hawkeye summary plots, which will be useful to both the scientist and non-scientist, alike. The second enhancement will allow users to request the generation of a high resolution summary plot for a specified time interval. The third will allow users to access the high time resolution data from any of the three instruments for a specified time interval in either CDF or ACSII.


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Last Revised: 04 Dec 1996 [EDG]