Vampola Data Sets from DoD Satellites Now at NSSDC

By John Cooper

A large collection of magnetospheric radiation belt data sets (Table I below) on 60 CDs and related plot data on microfiche and 35-mm film have been ingested into the NSSDC archive from The Aerospace Corporation experiments on a long series of nine military satellites extending from OV3-3 in 1966-1967 to the Combined Release and Radiation Effects Satellite (CRRES) mission in 1990-1991. Data from the Joint American Soviet Intercalibration Campaign (JASPIC) and CENTAUR suborbital rocket experiments (Table II below) are also included in the collection. Many of the satellite data sets were used in development of the NASA trapped radiation models, most recently AP-8 for protons and AE-8 for electrons, which are available on line from NSSDC. Although some of the data sets from the 1960s and 1970s had already been archived for the NASA model development effort, many of these have been available only on magnetic tapes in digital formats that users may now find difficult to interpret. With funding support for space physics data restoration from the NASA Office of Space Science The Aerospace Corporation data sets were compiled and reformatted into easily readable formats on CDs by Dr. Alfred L. Vampola, former senior scientist with The Aerospace Corporation and now a space consultant working out of his own company (Space Environment Effects, Vista, California).

Dr. Alfred Vampola compiled, reformatted, and provided for
NSSDC 60 CDs holding magnetospheric radiation belt data sets.

Dr. Vampola obtained his undergraduate degrees in 1956 for mathematics and physics from Creighton University in Nebraska and later earned his doctorate at St. Louis University. He joined the Space Science Laboratory of The Aerospace Corporation in 1962 and was promoted to his final position as senior scientist in 1978. He personally led development and served as principal investigator for many of the magnetic spectrometer experiments contributing to this data collection. Many of his research publications dealt with the morphology and dynamics of the radiation belts as measured by his experiments and with effects of wave particle interactions. In the mid-1980s and after 1990, he was an associate editor of the Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets.Since retirement from The Aerospace Corporation in 1990, he has been applying the CRRES and other energetic particle data for updates of radiation belt models and for modeling effects on Earth-orbiting satellites.

The source satellites and instruments, brief descriptions, start-end dates, and NSSDC ID numbers are specified in Table I (see below) along with active HTML links to associated pages in the NSSDC Master Catalog.Archive ingest is in progress for the rocket data sets in Table II (see below) and for several technical reports on the OV1-14, the Solar Radiation (monitoring satellite) (SOLRAD), and CRRES satellite experiments. None of the data sets are currently available on-line; the schedule and sequence for making them electronically accessible will be affected by community requests for these data. Further questions on data contents and availability may be addressed to the author of this article at Specific data sets (please specify NSSDC ID if known) on CD or other off-line media can be ordered from NSSDC’s Coordinated Request and User Support Office (CRUSO) via E-mail to or by telephone at (301) 286-6695 or FAX at (301) 286-1635.

TABLE 1. Satellite Data Sets

TABLE 2. Rocket Data Sets


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