Geophysics research on ISS Russian Segment

Plazma-Progress Experiment


Determination of space-time relations of the density of the spacecraft plasma environment arising during operation of its onboard liquid-propellant engines.


  • Determination of parameters (reflecting characteristics, sizes, density etc.) of large-scale plasma formations arising during operation of Progress TCV vernier thrusters and positioning and attitude control thrusters with different directivity of thruster plumes w.r.t. SC motion direction.
  • Adaptation of the physical model of plasma sheath forming in the SC vicinity as applied to the Progress TCV.
  • Study of interaction of plasma formations around low-orbit SC with ionospheric drag and solar radiation.
  • Analysis of the impact of PS plume exhaust on the radio configuration of a low-orbit SC by comparing the Progress TCV reflecting characteristics when thrusters are operating and not operating.

Hardware Used:

  • Progress TCV nominal propulsion system;
  • Ground facilities of radio observation- incoherent dissipation radar of Solar-Terrestrial Physics Institute, Siberian Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Irkuts).

Expected Results:

Prediction of ISS plasma environment parameters in the periods of nominal operation of engines of different thrust and in case of gas and plasma emissions.

Experiment Results:

Obtaining of Progress TCV reflecting characteristics in different experiment conditions.