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.

ISS Crew

Shannon Walker WALKER

leg Novitskiy Novitskiy

Petr Dubrov Dubrov

Mark Vande Hei Vande Hei

Michael Hopkins Hopkins

Victor Glover Glover

Soichi Noguchi Noguchi