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Flow Cyclotron Maser in the Earth’s Magnetosphere


Development of the Methodology of Experiment and Technical Support for Studies of the Flow Cyclotron Maser in the Earth's Magnetosphere by Creating an Artificial Ionization Cloud From a Geophysical Rocket

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-OTH/Other/Physics
  • PHY-PLS/Plasma Physics/Physics
  • PHY-RAW/Radiofrequency Waves/Physics
  • SAT-OTH/Other/Space, Aircraft and Surface Transportation

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Institute of Applied Geophysics (Fedorov), Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Russian Academy of Sciences / Institute of Applied Physics, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., N. Novgorod\nKola Science Center / Polar Geophysical Institute, Russia, Murmansk reg., Murmansk


  • University of Alaska Fairbanks / Geophysical Institute, USA, AK, Fairbanks\nUniversity of Saskatchewan / Department of Physics and Engineering Physics, Canada, SK, Saskatoon\nFinnish Meteorological Institute, Finland, Helsinki\nRoyal Institute of Technology / Space and Plasma Physics Group, Sweden, Stockholm\nSwedish Institute of Space Physics, Sweden, Kiruna\nSwedish Space Corporation / Esrange Space Center, Sweden, Kiruna

Project summary

The main objective of the project is development methodology to carry out an experiment on the direct verification of flow cyclotron maser (FCM) in the magnetosphere and study of its properties by chemical release into the upper atmosphere from a geophysical rocket including development of the methodology of an experiment, the methods prediction of the optimal conditions for it, methods fordetection of the deterministic geophysical parameters (indicators) directly related to the FCM, on-board equipment for injection, ground-based diagnostics equipment.

Project Objectives:

  • Development of the methods and models for calculation and prediction of the FCM parameters and indicators of its operation during the experiment
  • Development of the methodology of an experiment, methods and models for detection and recording of the FCM indicators
  • Development of an empirical model of long-term (weeks), mid-term (days), and short-term (hours) forecasting the helio-geophysical situation and weather conditions for carrying out the rocket experiment and optimizing the pre-launch preparation of the rocket site
  • Development of an on-board injector for cesium cloud release
  • Fitting technical parameters and characteristics of the on-board injector (generator) with the parameters and characteristics of the control and data-transmission systems of a geophysical rocket used at ESRANGE site (Sweden)
  • Development of the methodology and special equipment for ground-based observations of artificial clouds, natural and artificial auroras in the ionosphere, and low frequency emissions
  • Modification and testing of ground-based (TV, photometer, spectral, interferometer, radio tomography) diagnostic equipment for the observations of FCM specific characteristics during the experiment, under the natural (background) conditions

Project Narrative

Within the framework of the Project, the methodology of an experiment and technical facilities (including production of the brassboard models of the on-board equipment and ground-based diagnostic equipment) will be developed for studies of a flow cyclotron maser (FCM) in the Earth's magnetosphere with use of creation of artificial ionized cloud released by a geophysical rocket which has to be launched from the rocket range ESRANGE (Kiruna, Sweden).

During the investigation of the self-consistent theory of radiation belts a group of the project participants developed the conception of the flowing cyclotron maser (FCM) in the Earth's magnetosphere, in which energetic charged particles represent active substance, while magnetic force tubes, filled with cold plasma and limited by the ionospheres of both hemispheres serve as a resonator. The main confirmation of FCM presence in the earth's magnetosphere is the development of pulsating forms of auroras and related to them low frequency emissions of chorus type, observed during natural magnetosphere disturbances. All this is necessary, however not enough to build an accurate quantitative model of interaction of low frequency waves and particles within the FCM theory.

Therefore, is proposed to carry out research for preparing a controlled experiment, consisting in creation of an artificial ionized cloud (ionosphere mirror), which can significantly increase the reflection coefficient of low frequency waves from the ionosphere and and thus excite electron precipitation from the magnetosphere into the ionosphere and cause artificial pulsating auroras.

Successful realization of the proposed project tin future will enable us to build a quantitative model of magnetosphere-ionosphere wave and particle interaction, which stipulates the dynamics of energetic charged particles in radiation belts and to realize a rocket experiment under optimal conditions for research of this interaction

Basing on the fact that according to the developed by the authors of the Project FCM conception finding the excited pulsating precipitations of electrons simultaneously with pulsating low frequency electromagnetic emissions could be the best indicator of FCM functioning, the important task of the project is the development of methodology of observations and measurement in the dynamics of the parameters of artificially modified pulsating auroras and low frequency emissions.

The authors of the project and collaborators yet prior to the development of the FCM theory in rocket experiments first found some indicators, which were the evidence of high probability of real functioning of FCM in the magnetosphere of the Earth (detection of pulsating precipitations of particles and modification of auroras during formation of ionized barium clouds in the upper atmosphere), however, these works had been carried out without knowledge simultaneous registration of low frequency emissions, by which one could reliably judge about the cause of the stimulated precipitations and artificial auroras.

Within the framework of the project, it is planned to produce brassboard models of the on-board rocket complex for cesium injection, to fit the technical characteristics of a rocket and payload to each other, to develop new and to modify existing ground-based optical, radio-physical and geophysical measurement tools, to develop a methodology of prediction and optimal choice of the quantity of released substance, time and height of injection on the basis of estimating the possible geophysical situation. In this project it is intended to carry out experimental observations (imitation experiments) with use of the developed ground-based diagnostic equipment to determine the background (without cesium injection) dynamics of the parameters of natural pulsating auroras and accompanying geophysical effects.

This work will be of fundamental importance for physical investigation of plasma processes in laboratory and space plasmas and for the diagnosis of energetic particles in radiation belts and their dynamics upon the interactions with electromagnetic waves. An important line of applied studies in this project is the preparation active experiment under optimal and monitored conditions. This experience can be employed in future for various applied experiments in the near-Earth space.

The main results of the project should be

a new fundamental knowledge of

  • energetic particle states in the radiation belts and their dynamics at interaction with the electro magnetic waves
  • new physical mechanisms acting in the near space

the theoretical and experimental developments including
  • development of methods and models of calculation and prediction of the conditions for active physical experiment for verification of a FCM model
  • development of the brassboard models of the on-board generators for cesium injection into upper atmosphere
  • development of the ground-based optical, radio physical and geophysical equipment adapted for the conditions of a supposed active experiment as well as for different geophysical background observations and experiments
  • the results of the background observations of the pulsating auroras and concurrent electromagnetic emissions under natural conditions which may be used for applied goals for investigations and state forecasting of so called “space weather”.

applied usage of
  • development methods, equipment, observations for improving prediction quality in prognostic space weather systems;
  • development generators, methods of prediction of optimal conditions of active experiment for commercial projects related to the creation of luminous clouds in the near Earth space with advertisement or social purposes (so called "space show").

The participating institutions have a great experience (beginning from 80-th years of the 20-th century) of carrying out theoretical, methodical, and experimental studies: in the field of physics of low-frequency wave–particle interaction (IAP); in the observations of aurora, interpretation of the processes in the ionosphere (PGI, IAP, IAG); in developing the on-board and ground-based equipment as well as in organization of and participation in active experiments (IAG, PGI).

For carrying out research connected to the project some experts of the Institute Physics of Atmosphere (IFA RAS, Moscow), Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation (IZMIRAN,Moscow), and the Institute of Applied Chemistry (IPCh, Moscow region), having necessary experience in realization of planned works and capable of significantly contributing to the solution of the Project Tasks are included in the project team..

The project team members and their qualification correspond to the project tasks and to the amount of the proposed work.

Well-known scientists from Sweden, USA, Finland and Canada, experienced in the execution of experiments with substance injection from geophysical rockets, in the development of theoretical models of the low frequency electromagnetic waves interaction with particles and observations of auroras and interpretation of processes in the ionosphere leading to their development.

Correspondence of Project to ISTC's objectives.

The completion of the project will allow to support the research and development of technology and methodology in the field of rocket investigations of the upper atmosphere, ionosphere and magnetosphere as well as in the field of forecasting the influences of these processes on the operation of ground-based electric power lines and radio communication tools. The proposed project corresponds to the purposes of ISTC. As a result of the project realization, some group of experts would be reoriented to scientific research and applied development in the field of creation of methods and techniques of carrying out of the fundamental physical studies, connected to the problem of wave and particle interaction in the near earth space, of forecasting and investigation of geophysical disturbances, related with processes in the polar upper atmosphere and would be involved in the international cooperation in this important field.

Containers for keeping chemical components and onboard system of injection control, which are at the disposal of the Project authors will be used for the purpose of research work of an international team. The developed complex of equipment and methods of the carrying out the experiments could be widely used further in national and nternational projects.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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