Formation of 4 satellites flown in two couples, for observation of the magnetosphere.
ESA programme with support from NASA as concerns the ground segment.
The satellite stabilisation is by spin.
The design lifetime is 5 years.
The four satellites are flown in tetrahedal formation with relative distance varying from 200 km to 19,000 km. The measurement gradients are used to re-construct the 3D magnetic field. Ellistical orbits of perigee 19,000 km, apogee 119,000 km, inclination 90°.
For details, see
Data from the four S/C is synchronized via a highly stable on-board clock. - The Villafranca ground station (Spain) of ESA is the prime station for all TT&C functions. Further support is provided by NASA's Deep Space Network (as well as other ground stations).
Data processing is performed at a number of nationally-provided processing centres in Europe and USA, concurring to the Cluster Science Data System (CSDS).
2000 - 2026
Associated satellites and instruments
Note: red tag => no longer operational , green tag => operational
, blue tag => planned