Issue 123, 21 December, 2001


Table of Contents
1. REVISED Plans for the Magnetospheric MultiScale (MMS) Mission
2. NOAA Solar X-ray Imager (SXI) Status
3. A New IAGA-2001 Geomagnetic Data Exchange Format
4. Call for Papers for 2002 EGS Session ST18 on “Theory and Simulation of
Solar System Plasmas”
5. Job Announcement – Cluster Scientist at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory,
Oxfordshire, UK
6. Job Announcement – Research Fellow in Space Weather at Mullard Space
Science Laboratory, University College London, UK
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1. REVISED Plans for the Magnetospheric MultiScale (MMS) Mission
From: Jim Spann (

Concerning THE
NASA Office of Space Science
REVISED Plans for the
Magnetospheric MultiScale (MMS) Mission

Note that this announcement is identical in content to the previous
announcement released in October 2001 with the exception of the plans for
the first Announcement of Opportunity and the estimated schedule.

The Sun-Earth Connection Division of the Office of Space Science (OSS),
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), issues this
Announcement of Intent (AOI) concerning its tentative plans for the
solicitation and implementation of the Magnetospheric MultiScale (MMS)
mission, which is a key, strategic mission in the Solar Terrestrial Probe
program. Note that this AOI is not a solicitation for the MMS science
investigations, spacecraft, or launch vehicle.

The current state of planning calls for NASA OSS to release two
Announcements of Opportunity (AO?) that will solicit proposals for science
investigations to accomplish the Magnetospheric MultiScale (MMS) mission.
This mission intends to investigate and answer the fundamental questions
concerning the physics of reconnection, charged particle acceleration, and
turbulence as outlined in the MMS Science & Technology Definition Team
Report (available at The
primary science objective of the MMS mission is to understand magnetic
reconnection. Because of the need for the maximum congruence,
compatibility, and simultaneity of the required data over a volume of
space, the studies that have been conducted to date suggest that this
mission must consist at a minimum of four identical spacecraft, each
carrying identical science payloads.

Three options have been thoroughly considered for the first AO: (1) Mission
Principal Investigator (PI) mode (all instruments + spacecraft + ground
system), (2) Instrument Suite (all instruments), and (3) Individual
Instruments. A focused science investigation is required for MMS. This can
best be satisfied by options 1 or 2, which would deliver a highly
integrated science payload. NASA believes that option 2 provides greater
potential for competition than option 1. Therefore, NASA intends to issue
the first MMS AO soliciting an Instrument Suite Science Team (ISST) science
investigation under the leadership of single PI. This PI would provide
identical science payloads that would cover all mission phases (A-E) and
partner with NASA to build and operate the MMS mission. Given the
availability of multiple proposals of sufficient merit, NASA intends to
select several science proposals to conduct preliminary studies (Phase A).
Down-selection would occur at the conclusion of Phase A to the best ISST
proposal to participate in Phases B-E.

Upon the announcement of the selection of the ISST, NASA intends to release
the second MMS AO that will solicit Interdisciplinary Science (IDS)
investigations. Pending the submission of a sufficient number of proposals
of merit, four to six IDS investigators will be selected who will have
equal and open access to all of the MMS science data and who will be
expected to work synergistically and cooperatively with the ISST PI for the
completion of specific science investigations, including any that may have
similar objectives even though independently proposed. The successful IDS
investigators and the ISST investigation PI will together form the MMS
Science Working Group that will participate with NASA for implementation
and successful completion of this mission.

The estimated schedule of these procurements is as follows:

Release of Draft AO of the MMS ISST AO – March 2002
Release of Final ISST AO – May 2002
ISST Proposals due – August 2002
Selection of ISST proposal(s) and initiation of Phase A study – November 2002
Conclusion of Phase A study and release of MMS IDS AO – Fall 2003
Selection of MMS IDS investigations – Winter 2003
Launch of MMS spacecraft and initiate mission operations – 2008

Comments or questions regarding this AOI may be directed as follows:

By mail: Dr. Jim Spann
MMS Study Scientist
Code SS
NASA Headquarters
Washington, DC 20546

By fax: 202-358-3987 (please use a cover sheet addressed to Dr. Spann to
help ensure confidentiality)

By E-mail: (please use “MMS AOI” as the Subject)

2. NOAA Solar X-ray Imager (SXI) Status
From: “Steven Hill”

GOES 12 and its solar imaging telescope, a complement to and eventual
replacement for Yohkoh’s SXT, have successfully completed Post-Launch
Testing (PLT). The spacecraft has been placed in a storage mode as of
20 December 2001 as a backup to NOAA’s two currently operational,
geosynchronous, meteorological ( GOES) spacecraft. GOES 12 and its SXI
will not become operational until needed to replace either GOES 8 or
GOES 10 in, perhaps, a year’s time. No new SXI data will be available
until that time. Uncalibrated images in a browse format (PNG – similar
to GIF) obtained during the testing period (Sep – Dec 2001) are available
for viewing at and
There are plans to release calibrated FITS format data from the PLT
period by the summer of 2002 when additional instrument performance
analysis will have been completed.

3. A New IAGA-2001 Geomagnetic Data Exchange Format
From: Susan McLean and
Volodya Papitashvili

On behalf of the IAGA Division V and Working Group V-2 for Geomagnetic Data,
Indices, and Applications, we would like to announce the adoption of a new
standard format for exchange of ASCII geomagnetic observatory and variation
data. This format is intended for the exchange of monthly, daily, hourly,
minute, and second data. It replaces the previous standard format sometimes
called the “WDC format”. Details on the format can be found at the IAGA V-2
Web site:

The task force which developed the exchange format also is issuing some
recommendations for naming files. Details on the recommended file names for
exchange of magnetic observatory data are contained in the format description.
At present, this information is available only via a Web browser, but it will
be posted on the IAGA FTP site soon.

We would also like to take this opportunity to wish all of you and your
families a very safe and joyous holiday season. May 2002 bring you peace and
prosperity – lots of good data and research opportunities!

4. Call for Papers for 2002 EGS Session ST18 on “Theory and Simulation of
Solar System Plasmas”
From: Joerg Buechner

Dear colleague,

my best seasonal greeting and my best wishes for the New Year 2002!

As every year we will have in 2002 another annual session


(ST stands for Solar Terrestrial Science main sponsorhip, the session is
co-sponsored by NP – Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics)

to be held during the EGS General Assembley next year in
April 21-26 in Nice, France

As every year we would like to hear there more about your actual
reserach results. If you like to present a paper thre, please be
remined of the absolute


11 January 2002

The session combines reviews and original theoretical investigations
necessary to understand the plasma dynamics in the solar system.
Many plasma and charged particle phenomena are common for different
regions of the solar system – in magnetospheres, the sun, the solar
corona, planets and comets. The goal of the session is, therefore, to
bring together scientists investigating related physical processes in
different parts of the heliosphere. All studies concerning the plasma
dynamics in the solar system are welcome, theoretical as well as results
of numerical simulation, which is a mandatory tool as often as analytical
treatments fail. Since CLUSTER has revealed a wealth of new results in
our 2002 session contributions are especially encouraged dealing with the
understanding of phenomena directly verifiable by multi-spacecraft

As every year papers given during the session will be published in
a special issue of the AGU-EGS journal


Details about how to submit an abstract and registration information
can be found on

Please send an electronic copy of your abstract to

On behalf of the convenors,

sincerely yours,
Joerg Buechner.

Address information:

Convener: Joerg Buechner,
Tel/Fax: +49 556 979 295
Max-Planck-Institut fur Aeronomie,
Max-Planck-Str. 2
37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany

Co-convener: Gerard Belmont
Tel. +33 01 3925 4920
Fax +33 01 3925 4922
CETP, 10/12 Avenue de l’Europe,
78140 Velizy, France.

5. Job Announcement – Cluster Scientist at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory,
Oxfordshire, UK
From: “Grande, M (Manuel) ”

Summary: Applications are invited for a post in the Space Physics Division,
which is part of the Space Science and Technology Division at the Rutherford
Appleton Laboratory. The post is within the Planets and Space Plasmas Group
which is involved in the development, operation and exploitation of a
variety of space-based instrumentation used for the study of the near-Earth
environment and planetary bodies.

The group is currently engaged in studies of the Earth’s magnetosphere and
the Sun-Earth connection using instrumentation on the European Space
Agency’s cornerstone mission, Cluster, and on the NASA Polar and IMAGE
satellites. The group also undertakes instrument monitoring and scientific
planning activities as well as providing science support to the ESA Joint
Science Operation Centre and the UK Cluster Data Centre both of which are
co-located at RAL. The postholder will be expected to participate in the
whole range of activities undertaken by the group but the main duties will
involve the scientific analysis and exploitation of data from Cluster. This
will comprise both independent investigations and also leading or
participating in collaborations with other research groups in the UK, Europe
and the US.

The successful candidate is likely to have:
Academic qualifications at first and second degree level in an appropriate
scientific discipline
Significant research experience in a university research group or similar
environment, in a closely related field
Good verbal and written communication skills
A proven track record of publication and achievement in a relevant
scientific field
Experience of solar terrestrial physics
Background in the use of computers and data analysis

Further information
For an informal discussion about this post, please contact Prof Manuel
Grande 44 (0)1235 446501. For an application form please contact Rutherford
Appleton Lab, Human Resources group.

Starting salary will be up to 25,510 pounds on a pay range from 20,410 to
28,060 pounds, however a salary of up to 32,380 pounds on a pay range from
25,900 to35,620 pounds may be offered to a candidate with great experience.
An index-linked pension scheme and a generous leave allowance are also offered.

CLRC is committed to Equal Opportunities Application forms can be obtained
from: Operation Group, HR Division, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton,
Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QX. Telephone (01235) 445435 (answerphone) or
email quoting reference VN2204. More information about
CLRC is available from CCLRC’s World Wide Web pages at
All applications must be returned by 14 January 2002. Interviews will be
held on January 29 2002.

The CCLRC is committed to Equal Opportunities and is a recognised Investor
in People. A no smoking policy is in operation.

6. Job Announcement – Research Fellow in Space Weather at Mullard Space
Science Laboratory, University College London, UK
From: Libby Daghorn

A vacancy exists at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (University
College London) in the field of Space Weather. The position will involve
collaborative work between the Solar and Plasma Physics groups. A PhD in
a relevant area of research is required.

The appointment will be for 2 years starting from March 2002 or soon
after. Salary in the 1A scale for research staff in the range 16,775 –
20,465 pounds.

For further information, please contact Louise Harra (,
Bob Bentley ( or Andrew Coates (
Information regarding MSSL can be found at
Applications should include a full CV, publication list and the
names of three referees to be sent to Mrs. E. Daghorn, Mullard Space
Science Laboratory, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6NT, UK by
1st February 2002

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