C.T. Russell: Research

The principal focus of Professor Russell's Space Physics Group is the energy flow from the sun through the solar wind and into the terrestrial and planetary magnetospheres, both intrinsic and induced, and how this energy is dissipated within these magnetospheres. Other interests include the generation of the intrinsic magnetic fields of the Earth and planets and the nature and strength of planetary lightning. In pursuit of these objectives the Space Physics Group has an engineering team that builds space flight instrumentation, a data processing team that processes the data returned from these missions, and a scientific analysis team of students, researchers and faculty. A selected summary of his contributions to space physics and to planetary physics can be found in the accompanying tables. A summary of his service to the international scientific community can be found in his resume. He is currently the Principal Investigator of the Dawn mission, the ninth Discovery mission, scheduled to be launched to the asteroids Vesta and Ceres in 2006.

Professor Russell has participated in the space flight program since its earliest days. He analyzed Type III solar radio bursts on the Alouette I and II missions. He probed magnetospheric Very Low Frequency plasma waves on OGO-1 through 6 and was the first to characterize many of the natural VLF emissions in the magnetosphere. As a coinvestigator on the OGO-5 fluxgate magnetometer he discovered the erosion of the magnetosphere, made some of the first measurements of the polar cusp, and helped develop models of the substorm process, the semiannual variation of geomagnetic activity, and geomagnetic storms. As a coinvestigator on the Apollo 15 and 16 subsatellite magnetometer he mapped the remanent magnetism of the lunar surface and measured the radius of the electrically conducting core of the moon. As Principal Investigator on the ISEE-1 and 2 magnetometer he measured the velocities and thicknesses of the magnetospheric boundaries and discovered flux transfer events on the magnetopause. As Principal Investigator of the Pioneer Venus magnetometer he elucidated the induced nature of the Venus magnetosphere and discovered flux ropes in the Venus ionosphere. With Fred Scarf he discovered plasma waves in the Venus ionosphere due to lightning and mapped the occurrence rate of lightning with the Pioneer Venus plasma wave analyzer. As a coinvestigator on the magnetic fields investigation on the VEGA mission to comet Halley he discovered mirror mode waves in the induced cometary magnetosphere. As a coinvestigator on the Phobos mission he demonstrated the induced nature of the Martian magnetotail. With the magnetic field measurements of the NEAR spacecraft he showed that ICMEs were not simply cylindrically symmetric flux ropes. With POLAR he mapped the polar cusp magnetic fields and currents.

His experience in flight missions is summarized in the accompanying table.

Current and future mission involvement include the following missions:

Jupiter Orbiter, Launch October 1989; Orbit Insertion December 7, 1995, IDS, Co-I
Polar Earth Orbiter, Launch July 1996, Team member
Polar Earth Orbiter, Launch February 24, 1996, P.I.
Asteroid Rendezvous; Launch February 17, 1996; Orbit Insertion February 14, 2000; Team member
Saturn Orbiter; Launch, October 1997; Orbit Insertion, July 2004; Co-investigator
Lander on Comet Wirtanen, Launch 2003; Co-investigator
1 AU Dual Spacecraft Solar Observatory; Launch 2005; Co-investigator
Discovery Mission to asteroids Vesta and Ceres using ion propulsion; Launch 2006; Principal Investigator

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