Goddard Space Flight Center


Two Columns


Comprehensive Solar Wind Laboratory for Long-Term Solar Wind Measurements

Wind is a spin stabilized spacecraft launched with a Delta II rock on November 1, 1994. After several orbits through the magnetosphere, Wind was placed in a halo orbit around the L1 Lagrange point -- more than 200 Re upstream of Earth -- in early 2004 to observe the unperturbed solar wind that is about to impact the magnetosphere of Earth. Wind, together with Geotail, Polar, SoHO and Cluster, constitute a cooperative scientific satellite project designated the International Solar Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) program that aims at gaining improved understanding of the physics of solar terrestrial relations.

The primary science objectives of the Wind mission are:
  • Provide complete plasma, energetic particle and magnetic field for magnetospheric and ionospheric studies.
  • Investigate basic plasma processes occurring in the near-Earth solar wind.
  • Provide baseline, 1 AU, ecliptic plane observations for inner and outer heliospheric missions.


Engineering Operations Award [September, 2015]: The Wind Operations Team, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, received the AIAA Space Operations & Support Award on September 2, 2015. The award honors the team's "exceptional ingenuity and personal sacrifice in the recovery of NASA's Wind spacecraft." Jacqueline Snell - engineering manager for Wind, Geotail, and ACE Missions - will accept the award on behalf of the team. [Award Details]

Group Achievement Award [June, 2015]: The Wind Operations Team, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, received the NASA Group Achievement Award for recovery of the Wind spacecraft's command and attitude processor. [Award Details]

NEWS: Highlights and Updates

Science Highlight [May, 2017]:
Wind data was used in a recent study to show that some aspects of MHD may be more relevant in solar wind models than previously thought. The study was also highlighted at: UNH Researcher Identifies Key Differences in Solar Wind Models

Mission Highlight [January, 2017]:
Wind data has been used (directly or indirectly) in more than 4000 refereed scientific publications!

Science Highlight [November, 2016]:
Data from the Wind spacecraft was used in to support a recent study published in the journal Physical Review Letters that was selected as an Editors' Suggestion article at Electron Acceleration, highlighted at NASA and Physical Review Letters Highlights and THEMIS Nuggets, and some fun visualizations of Shock Drift Acceleration.

Mission Update [June, 2016]:
Dr. Lynn B. Wilson III was promoted to the project scientist role for the Wind spacecraft.

Science Highlight [December, 2014]:
The Wind spacecraft recently turned 20 on November 1, 2014. The anniversary of its launch was marked by a special session at the 2014 Fall AGU General Assembly entitled Twenty Years of Wind Observations and a highlight on NASA's homepage at A Solar Wind Workhorse Marks 20 Years of Science Discoveries.

Science Highlight [September, 2014]:
A recent study discussing the sonification of Wind magnetic field data was featured on NASA's homepage at More Than Meets the Eye: NASA Scientists Listen to Data and Popular Science at NASA Scientists Study The Sun By Listening To It.

Science Highlight [April, 2013]:
A recent publication using data from the Wind spacecraft was featured on NASA's homepage at NASA’s Wind Mission Encounters ‘SLAMS’ Waves.

Science Highlight [March, 2013]:
A recent publication using data from the Wind spacecraft was highlighted as a Physical Review Letters spotlight article and a NASA Feature Article at Solar Wind Energy Source Discovered.

Science Highlight [April, 2012]:
A recent publication using data from the Wind spacecraft was featured on NASA's homepage at Riding the Plasma Wave.

New Data Products

New SMS Data Set:
2019 The SMS Suprathermal Ion Composition Spectrometer (STICS) has recently been reprocessed to produce four new data sets found at CDAWeb (with labels wi_l2-hplus-3min_sms-stics-* and wi_l2-he2plus-3min_sms-stics-*, where the asterisk is either solarwind or magnetosphere). The data include sectored fluxes for hydrogen and alpha-particles separated by time periods inside and outside the terrestrial magnetosphere. The instrument includes 3 separate TOF telescopes that view 3 separate latitude sectors (16 total sectors). The spinning spacecraft body allows the three telescopes to cover nearly 4 π steradian. The solar direction is in sectors 8-10 while the earthward direction is in sectors 0-2.

New 3DP Data Set:
2016 The 3DP electron electrostatic analyzer (ESA) data has recently been re-examined to produce updated velocity moments for the entire electron distribution. The data can be found at CDAWeb (with label wi_emfits_e0_3dp) currently covering Jan. 1, 1995 to Dec. 31, 2004. The data was produced for periods when the Wind spacecraft was in the solar wind, thus periods in the magnetosphere have not been processed.

New WAVES Data Set:
2016 The WAVES time domain sampler (TDS) receiver, which measures high frequency electric and magnetic fluctuations, also observes the plasma cloud produced by dust impacts on the spacecraft body. David Malaspina (PI) and Lynn B. Wilson III (Co-I) recently scanned through and compiled a list of all the dust impacts observed by the TDS receiver between Jan. 1, 1995 and Jan. 1, 2016 called the dust impact database. The data set was publicly released and is availble at CDAWeb.

New SWE Ion Faraday Cup Data Sets:
2016 Newly procesed Wind SWE Ion Faraday Cup (FCs) data sets are available on the Data section of this page. The SWE Ion reduced velocity distribution function data sets are availble at CDAWeb.

2017 New graphical user interface (GUI) software release for analyzing the SWE FC data sets can be found at Janus.

New EPACT Data Sets:
2018 Newly procesed Wind EPACT-STEP data sets are available at CDAWeb.

2016 Newly procesed Wind EPACT-LEMT data sets are available on the Data section of this page. The data are also availble at CDAWeb and VEPO.

2016 New release of the 20 MeV proton channel from the EPACT-APE detector are available at VEPO and now at CDAWeb.

New KONUS Data Set:
2018 Data for all solar flares registered by the KONUS instrument in the triggered mode are available on-line via the Solar Flare Database. The database contains energy spectra and detector response matrices in FITS format as well as light curves in G1, G2 and G3 channels in ASCII and IDL SAV formats for solar flares detected in the triggered mode. New solar observations will be added to the database as soon as they arrive.

Senior Reviews

2017 Senior Review Proposal:

2017 Wind Senior Review Proposal

Final Report from the 2017 Senior Review

2015 Senior Review Proposal:

2015 Wind Senior Review Proposal

Final Report from the 2015 Senior Review

2013 Senior Review Proposal:

2013 Wind Senior Review Proposal

Final Report from the 2013 Senior Review

2010 Senior Review Proposal:

2010 Wind Senior Review Proposal

2008 Senior Review Proposal:

2008 Wind Senior Review Proposal

2008 Wind Mission Archive Plan

Final Report from the 2008 Senior Review



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