The International Auroral Study



Cindy Cattell, United States, Project Leader (School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455)

Dan Baker (University of Colorado, Boulder CO USA)

Brian Fraser ( University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia)

Ray Greenwald ( JHU/APL, Laurel, MD USA)

Herman Opgenoorth ( Swedish Institute Space Physics, Uppsala, Sweden)

Rob Pfaff, Michael Teague (Goddard Space Flight Center, MD USA)

Viktor Sergeev (University of St Petersburg, St Petersburg, Russia)

Kiyohumi Yumoto ( Kyushu University, Fukuoka Japan)


The International Auroral Study (IAS) is a coordinated international program for studying the Northern and Southern aurora using multiple and simultaneous space-based and ground-based observations. The IAS is Project 2.6 of the Solar Terrestrial Energy Program (STEP) and the general time period for the study is 1996-1998. The goal of the IAS is to characterize as completely as possible the formation of the aurora, including topics such as the relationship of the structure and dynamics of visible arcs to in situ measurements of acceleration processes. It will also characterize the large-scale properties of the electric fields and current systems in the ionosphere, and determine the association of auroral arcs with magnetospheric substorms and various boundaries in the magnetosphere. In order to achieve the IAS goals, both ground-based and in-situ experimental data are needed, as well as theoretical analysis and numerical modelling. The first campaign period was during the Northern winter of 1996/97 (December 1996 through March 1997). During this period coordinated observations were made by the FAST, Polar, MSX, Interball, Wind and Akebono and other satellites, by the EISCAT, Sondrestrom, and SuperDarn radars, numerous optical campaigns including several aimed at cusp aurora, the ALIS network, and aircraft observations over Alaska. Results from some of these coordinated studies are presented in this and other sessions. We will describe some of the ongoing projects and plans for future campaigns.



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