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Russian Academy of Sciences

Pushkov Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radiowave Propagation


Scientific Record

The Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radiowave propagation studies solar and terrestrial physics, physics of the solar-terrestrial relations, cosmic rays, physics of the ionosphere and magnetosphere, the ionosphere and magnetosphere radio wave propagation, magnetism of the Earth and planets of the solar system. All studies undertaken at the institute deal mainly with electrodynamic processes listed above. These processes are accompanied by optical, nuclear and other phenomena reflecting the specifics of objects studied. A distinctive feature of  IZMIRAN research is a desire to stage multi-discipline investigations using ground, aircraft, balloon, rocket and satellite methods. The most noticeable results have been obtained in programmes based on cooperation and coordination of efforts of Soviet/Russian and foreign scientists and specialists in related disciplines.

From the History of IZMIRAN

The Institute  met its 65th anniversary in January 2005. At present the Institute employs  about 600 staff,  of whom the R&D employees are about 300. The bulk of the Institute is located in the town of Troitsk, outside Moscow, a science-city ("naukograd"), one of the scientific centres of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In addition, IZMIRAN comprises the St.Petersburg branch and magnetic ionospheric observatory in Kaliningrad.

The history of IZMIRAN is largely that of investigating magnetic storms and sub-storms on the Earth surface, in circum-terrestrial and interplanetary space, initially by means of a network of ground stations of the Soviet Union (1930s - 1940s) and the nonmagnetic skunner "Zarja", then through the extensive use of magnetic measurements on artificial Earth satellites and automatic stations.

With the advent of the space era investigators received access to direct measurements in outer space (near-Earth space in particular) by means of rockets, satellites, orbital stations and spacecrafts.

In 1958, IZMIRAN magnetologists for the first time made magnetic measurements from an artificial Earth satellite. World magnetic surveying from an artificial Earth satellite began in 1964, from the satellite Cosmos-49, equipped with proton magnetometer. Global survey of the field modulus from the near-polar orbit was effected in 1970 from the satellite Cosmos-321, equipped with a quantum cesium magnetometer. In particular, this survey made it possible to explore polar electro-jets, the effect of longitudinal magnetospheric-ionospheric currents, and the effect of an non-ionospheric ring current. The effect of an ionospheric equatorial electro-jet over the ionosphere and its induction effect in the Earth were measured for the first time.

IZMIRAN has taken an active part in developing and performing active experiments involving injection of particles into outer space. The Institute coordinated a number of Russian and international experiments in space and developed a large-scale international satellite experiment called APEX (Active Plasma Experiment, launch -- 1991, active period -- upto 1997). Its main scientific objectives were to simulate an artificial aurora and to study optical and radio emission from the aurora region, the study of the dynamics and relaxation of modulated electron and plasma jets, artificially injected in the circum-terrestrial plasma.

Already on the first Soviet satellites IZMIRAN began investigating electromagnetic emissions and signals from circum-terrestrial plasma. An important result obtained by means of the satellite Intercosmos-19, was the discovery of an anomalous increase in the intensity of low-frequency emissions (0.1-20kHz) over the epicentrial regions of future earthquakes.

IZMIRAN  studies phenomena of solar-terrestrial physics starting from the onboard investigation of the solar ultraviolet and gamma-ray emission (satellites Cosmos-166,230, spacecrafts of Intercosmos series, Phobos space probes, Prognoz, Soyuz,  et cetera).

A long series of experimental and theoretical investigations was carried out on solar radio outbursts and their fine structure in the metre wavelength. These helped to assess parameters of solar corona.

Multi-disciplined experimental and threoretical investigations produced a two-component model of the sunspot, which  for the first time gave a consistent explanation for all kinds of emissions from the sunspot area, also explaining the structure and the dynamics of the sunspot.

IZMIRAN is the Head Institution charged with preparation and implementation of CORONAS-I and CORONAS-F missions. CORONAS as a whole is a unique complex space mission, comprising three special-purpose satellites to be launched in 1994, 1999, and after 2000. The first satellite of the series, CORONAS-I was launched in 1994.  The second spacecraft, CORONAS-F, was successfully launched on 31 of July 2001. The chosen polar orbit (altitude about 500km above the Earth, inclination about 83 degrees) ensures continuous 20-day long observations of the Sun in recurrent intervals. The scientific payload of CORONAS is designed to measure electromagnetic radiation in a broad range from radio to gamma wavelengths, as well as the fluxes of neutral (neutrons) and charged (electrons, protons and nuclei) solar particles. A detailed information on data and results of separate measurements can be found at IZMIRAN website.