Imperial College Space and Atmospheric Physics

André Balogh's Web Pages



ISEE-3 was the first spacecraft launched into an orbit around the Lagrange point L1 between the Sun and the Earth; it then also visited the Earth's magnetotail and was later sent to the first ever close encounter with a comet. Our istrument, a three-telescope detector to measure low energy proton fluxes, yielded many new results on shock acceleration processes, on substorm-related phenomena in the distant magnetotail and on comet-solar wind interactions in the vicinity of the periodic comet Giacobini-Zinner. The Ulysses spacecraft is in a polar orbit around the Sun, the first to explore the regions of the heliosphere at high heliolatitudes. Observations by the joint Imperial College-Jet Propulsion Laboratory Magnetometer and our Anisotropy Telecopes for measuring energetic particle fluxes have led to many discoveries of the properties of the heliospheric medium. We are now looking forward to the observations Ulysses will make during solar maximum, in 1999-2001.




Equator-S is a spacecraft built by MPIE (Garching, Germany), in an orbit around the Earth with an apogee of close to 10 Earth radii. Near apogee on the dayside, the spacecraft samples the magnetopause and magnetosheath. We contributed the power supply to the magnetometer and we are now engaged in the analysis of observations of magnetopause crossings and related phenomena. Cluster-II is the replacement mission for the first four-spacecraft Cluster which was destroyed in the failed first launch of Ariane-5. The objective of the mission is the study of the 3D structure of magnetospheric boundaries and related small-scale plasma phenomena. We are leading the Magnetic Field Investigation and we look forward to the launch scheduled for mid-2000 and the very rich harvest of scientific result expected from Cluster-II.



Mercury Orbiter

The Rosetta mission is expected to be launched in early 2003. After a long cruise, it will rendezvous with the comet Wirtanen and will accompany it as it approaches perihelion. We are engaged in building the Plasma Interface Unit, a complex data processing and power supply system for the group of five Rosetta Plasma Consortium instruments which will study the interaction of the comet with the solar wind. In 1993, we led a proposal to ESA to send an orbiter spacecraft around Mercury. This proposal, in turn, led to the adoption of a Mecury Cornerstone mission in ESA's Horizons 2000 programme. An industrial study of the mission is underway for a launch around 2010. Our interest in this mission is the measurement of magnetic fields, to study the origin of the planet's internal magnetic field and also its magnetosphere.