The Cluster II Mission

For the first time in the history of space exploration, four identical spacecraft have been despatched to explore the invisible magnetic "bubble" that surrounds our planet - the magnetosphere. Dozens of instruments on board the Cluster quartet have now begun to `map' this region in unprecedented detail.

Over the next two years, Cluster will provide a unique, three-dimensional view of the battleground between the Earth and our nearest star. Hundreds of scientists around the world are eagerly waiting to analyse this treasure trove of data.

- Cluster Spacecraft

The four Cluster spacecraft carry identical sets of 11 scientific instruments. They are designed to study space weather inside and outside the region influenced by Earth's magnetic field - the magnetosphere. By using the same instruments on all four spacecraft, scientists will obtain the first detailed, three-dimensional picture of what happens within different regions of the Earth's magnetic shield.

- taken from the ESA Cluster homepage

Cluster and DWP

Designed and built by the Space Systems Team, The Digital Wave Processor (DWP) provides flexible on-board control for the Wave Experiment Consoritum (WEC) instruments.

The DWP is responsible for co-ordinating WEC operations at several levels At the lowest level the DWP provides elecrical signals to synchronise instrument sampling. At higher levels, DWP time tags data in a consistent manner and provides a facility for constructing more complex WEC modes by means of macros.

The processing system within the DWP also performs particle and wave/paritcle correlations in order to permit the direct study of wave/paritcle interactions.

Dr Alleyne is the Principal Investigator (PI) of this project.

DWP

- DWP

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By Simon Walker