The Cluster II WBD project at the University of Iowa employed undergraduate engineering students to assist the project staff personnel in the building and testing of the flight hardware. This provided a means of supporting and furthering the students' educations while contributing toward the completion of spaceflight hardware.
Plasma wave staff members prepare displays, present educational talks, and give tours of our laboratories to provide information about the Cluster project and to spark interest in the exploration of space.
An exhibit summarized The University of Iowa's role in space research, with emphasis on space hardware projects and scientific contributions since 1950. Cluster items included in the exhibit were:
- one recovered Cluster I Plasma Wave Wideband Data instrument box with electronics
- photos of Cluster instruments, spacecraft, and the 1996 launch
- a Cluster project summary.
Other exhibit items included:
- models and spare units of spacecraft, instruments, and hardware pieces
- sounds from space
- auroral images
- flight paths of selected spacecraft
- history of space exploration
- summaries of University of Iowa space research projects and major accomplishments
- a children's area
Sounds of Space
A public outreach product unique to waveform instruments is plasma wave data processed into audio form. The Wideband Receivers can be thought of as the "ears" of the Cluster spacecraft, just as imagers (cameras) provide the "eyes." For a sampling of sounds from Cluster, follow the "Sounds of Space" link above, open the "Featured Items" banner, and click on "Selected Sounds in Space", which were chosen by the original Principal Investigator of the Cluster WBD investigation, Professor Donald Gurnett. At the bottom of this page are two Cluster examples, in stereo of the same waves that have propagated from one spacecraft to another. The first example is of an Earth nose whistler, and the second is of Auroral Kilometric Radiation (AKR).