Title: Turbulence, intermittency and multiscale transfer of energy in the solar-wind and planetary magnetosheaths

Acronym: TIMESS

Project ID: PN-II-ID-PCE-2012-4-0418

Funding Program: PN2-IDEAS, Exploratory Research Projects (PCE)

Funding Agency: Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI)

Project Coordinator: Institute of Space Science, Romania (ISS)

Project Director: Dr. Marius Echim

Duration: 02.09.2013 - 31.12.2016, 40 months

Contract Number: 83/02.09.2013

Website: www.spacescience.ro/projects/timess

Contact: echim [at] spacescience [dot] ro



The solar wind and the planetary magnetospheres form a unique natural plasma laboratory probed during the last decades by a fleet of increasingly sophisticated spacecraft. Four satellite missions are targeted by TIMESS: European Space Agency’s Venus Express (in orbit around Venus), Cluster (in orbit in the terrestrial magnetosphere) and NASA’s solar wind monitor ACE, orbiting the L1 point, and THEMIS, the multispacecraft magnetospheric mission. The project will provide quantitative analyses of satellite data and will explore how this analysis addresses the following science questions:

(1) How is the energy transferred between scales in the supersonic and shocked solar wind, close to the magnetospheres of Venus and the Earth? 

(2) Is the solar wind and magnetosheath turbulence driven by wave effects or by the interaction of coherent structures? 

(3) Which are the sources of intermittency in the solar wind and the magnetosheaths of Venus and Earth and how to identify them? 

(4) What are the differences between the statistical properties of the intermittent turbulence in the planetary magnetosheaths, downstream quasi-parallel and quasi-perpendicular shocks? Are there any significant differences between the magnetosheaths of magnetised (Earth-like) and non-magnetized (comet-like) planets? 

(5) Which are the effects of a specific turbulence spectrum on the dynamics of particles in the vicinity of magnetospheric plasma interfaces?

The fundamental questions reviewed above have an impact on understanding the nature of turbulence in an astrophysical context and beyond. The project will implement an innovative approach based on advanced methods for time series analysis, applied as an integrated powerful package on data collected in the solar wind and and in the planetary plasma environments of Venus and the Earth. The targeted time interval extends over an almost entire solar cycle (2006-2014). TIMESS is complementary and will benefit from the synergy with the FP7 project STORM. STORM addresses the problem of intermittency in a broader context, targeting a larger number of spacecraft over a longer time interval and for a larger number of planetary systems, with a larger portfolio of analysis methods.

Last update: December 08, 2016

Research supported by the Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI).