23, July 2014

PROJECT TITLE: Auroral Electrodynamics with Swarm — ALEOS

Coordinator: The Institute of Space Science 

Partners: NationaI Institute for Lasers Plasma and Radiation Physics

Period: 19 November 2012 – 18 November 2015

Project director: Octav Marghitu

Project team:

  • PhD: Adrian Blagau, Mircea Ciobanu, Horia Comisel, Dragos Constantinescu, Octav Marghitu
  • 2 young scientists: Costel Bunescu, Vlad Constantinescu
  • 1 technician: Gavril Tordai

Description: ALEOS concentrates on the auroral region, where the magnetic field lines provide a direct connection between the ionosphere–thermosphere and the magnetosphere. 

The project supports the implementation of a Swarm data exploitation proposal, accepted by ESA in Feb. 2012, and benefits from the expertise of colleagues in Germany, Canada, Sweden, and Finland.

ALEOS interacts closely with the VALS project – supporting Romanian contributions to Swarm data validation activities led by GFZ Potsdam (to be presented by Dr. Adrian Blagau).

ALEOS interacts also with the Idei project M–ICAR,, and the project POLARIS,, carried on at the International Space Science Institute, Bern.

Project objectives:

  • Observation of gradients along auroral arcs (2 Swarm s/c)
  • Examination of 2D electrodynamics of the aurora (3 Swarm s/c)
  • Proper consideration of the neutral wind influence on the auroral electrodynamics.
  • Investigation of the I–T role in the coupled M–I–T system (Swarm, Cluster, THEMIS).


Contributions to the STAR programme objectives:

The strong involvement in a key ESA Earth Observation mission contributes to Romania’s participation in ESA programmes, which is the main goal of STAR.

ALEOS answers as well several other goals of the STAR programme:

  • Strengthens a research niche at national and international level
  • Develops and promotes the national space research capacity
  • Supports the development and international visibility of a highly qualified research team
  • Enables high quality scientific production by results at international level