MISSION World First Observation Method Aiming at future secure/safe space use by understanding the particle acceleration and loss in the inner magnetosphere

What’s PWING?

Aiming at future secure/safe space use by understanding the particle acceleration and loss in the inner magnetosphere

 Out of various types of geo space, the center of the inner magnetosphere is outside the earth, and the distance between the earth center and inner magnetosphere center is especially approximately four times of the earth radius. The inner magnetosphere contains plasma particles (electrons and ions) in wide energy ranges from the radiation belt configured with high-energy plasmas to the plasmasphere configured with low-energy plasmas. This sphere is an interesting area in which particles are accelerated and lost as interacting with electromagnetic waves.
 In the inner magnetosphere, because of the gradient and curvature of the geomagnetic field, plasma particles are accelerated and lost as rotating round the earth in the longitudinal direction in periods of several tens of minutes to several hours.
 So, it is indispensable for quantitative understanding of the dynamical variation of the particles and electromagnetic field to grasp the dynamical variation field eccentrically located at a particular longitude on a global scale. The objectives of this study are to grasp the process of dynamical variation of the particles and waves in this inner magnetosphere and clarify the mechanism of the dynamical variation quantitatively.

 The global distribution of the particles and waves rotating round the earth has not been understood by observation so far.
 So, based on international collaboration, this project establishes eight ground-based stations separately positioned in the longitude direction along a latitude line, and observes how the particles rotating round the earth in the space around the earth fall into the earth atmosphere and interact with waves, making it possible to monitor the global conditions of the particles and waves 24 hours a day.
 The mechanism of the dynamical variation in the inner magnetosphere can be evaluated quantitatively using this network-based observation on the earth, direct observation of the magnetosphere by Japan’s new ERG satellite launched in fiscal 2016, and modeling in combination.
It is known that the high-energy plasmas in the inner magnetosphere including the radiation belt particles cause functional problems such as the internal charge and memory inversion of artificial satellites, degradation of solar battery panels, or communication failures. In addition, the radiation belt particles accelerated in the magnetosphere influence radiation dose for astronauts.
 The result of this study will contribute to the improvement of the prediction accuracy in the space radiation environment. It will also be utilized for prediction and evaluation of the failures of artificial satellite equipment, being helpful with the use of space.


Representative researcher


Professor of ISEE (the Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research), Nagoya University SHIOKAWA, Kazuo
Completed the master’s course of the special study of geophysics of the Graduate School of Science of Tohoku University in 1990, becoming a Research Associate of the Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory (currenty,Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research (ISEE)), Nagoya University in 1990, a visiting researcher of the Max-Planck Institute for extraterrestrial Physics, Germany from 1996 to 1997, an assistant professor of Nagoya University in 1999, and staying in the current post from 2008. Prof. Shiokawa’s speciality is the observational research of space around the earth by the optical observation and electromagnetic field measurement of aurora and nightglow.Serving as co-chair of the SCOSTEP’s VarSITI (Variability of the Sun and Its Terrestrial Impact) program for 2014-2018

Members of the research project and their tasks

OTSUKA, Yuichi Associate professor, Nagoya University Creation of electron density map of the ionosphere using the GNSS receiver network, also being in charge of data collection from the ground-based stations via the network.
OYAMA, Shin-ichiro Lecturer, Nagoya University In charge of ground-based observations in Alaska and Finland.
NISHITANI, Nozomu Associate professor of Nagoya University Primarily in charge of ground-based stations in Russia, creating a global map of plasma convection using the data collected by a SuperDARN HF radar network.
MIYOSHI, Yoshizumi Associate professor of Nagoya University Project scientist of the ERG satellite, being in charge of observation using an EMCCD camera, development of global models, and building of the observation database.
OZAKI, Mitsunori Associate professor of Kanazawa University Development of loop antennas to observe VLF/ELF waves at frequencies of 0.1 to 10 kHz.
KATAOKA, Ryuho Associate professor of NIPR (the National Institute of Polar Research) High-speed imaging of aurora using EMCCD cameras.
SEKI, Kanako Professor of Tokyo University Evaluation of particle acceleration and loss quantitatively by developing a model of interaction between global waves and particles and utilizing the model for observation.
NOSE, Masahito Assistant professor of Kyoto University In charge of observation at ground-based stations in Kapuskasing and Nain, Canada.

Collaborative researchers

SHINOHARA, Iku Associate professor of ISAS/JAXA. Project manager of the ERG satellite, promoting collaboration with satellite observation.
NAGATSUMA, Tsutomu Research manager of NICT Measurement of ULF waves at frequencies from 0.1 to 10 Hz using induction magnetometers.
TANAKA, Yoshimasa Specially appointed associate professor of NIPR Observation of high-energy electrons precipitation from space by developing a broad beam riometer.
SAKANOI, Takeshi Associate professor of Tohoku University Optical observation in Canada.
TSUCHIYA, Fuminori Associate professor of Tohoku University Observation of standard transmitter radio waves in Russia, Canada, and Norway to study the variation of the ionospheric D-layer due to the precipitation of high-energy electrons.
OBANA, Yuki Lecturer of Osaka Electro-Communication University Fieldworks in Canada and diagnostics of the plasmasphere using the data from the magnetometers.
SUZUKI, Shin Associate professor of Aichi University Observation in Canada, and study of the waves of the upper atmosphere using the data obtained by all-sky airglow/aurora cameras.

Designated Staff

SHINBORI, Atsuki Designated assistant professor, Nagoya University. Study of global dynamics of ionosphere and plasmasphere during geomagnetic disturbances using GPS-TEC data.


KURITA Satoshi Researcher, Nagoya University. Ground-based observations database construction.
TAKAHASHI, Naoko Researcher, University of Tokyo. Modeling of Geospace environmental change.

Technical Staff

KATO, Yasuo Technical staff of Nagoya University Support for development of riometers and VLF antennas.
HAMAGUCHI, Yoshiyuki Technical staff of Nagoya University Support for development of induction magnetometers and VLF antennas.
YAMAMOTO, Yuka Technical staff of Nagoya University Support for development of all-sky cameras, VLF antennas, data aquisition softwares, and internet connection.
ADACHI, Takumi Technical staff of Nagoya University Support for the overall system developments and GPS clocks.

Members of the ERG-ground coordinated observation team (PWING project)

International Schools

SCOSTEP/ISWI International Schools on Space Science7-17 November 2016, India

Implementation Method

Observation sites

This project establishes
new observation sites (ground-based stations).

Spatial distribution can be understood globally by observing waves and particles simultaneously at new 8 ground-based stations.

●Existing ground-based stations
★New ground-based stations

ERG-Ground Conjunction Events (Provided by Dr. Keisuke Hosokawa (UEC))

Observation equipment

  • All-sky airglow/aurora camera
    All-sky airglow/aurora camera
    To capture the variation of the upper atmosphere and plasmas in the ionosphere and precipitation of high-energy plasmas through aurora and airglow.
  • Loop antenna
    Loop antenna
    To observe the VLF waves at frequencies of 0.1-10 kHz with high sensitivity and low noise.
  • Induction Magnetometer
    Induction Magnetometer
    To measue geomagnetic pulsations (ULF waves) at frequencies around 0.1-10 Hz with high sensitivity and low noise.
  • Riometer
    Induction Magnetometer
    To monitor the precipitation of high-energy electrons 24 hours a day by measuring absorption of cosmic radio wave by the auroral ionosphere.
  • EMCCD camera
    To observe aurora in high-time resolution with a sampling rate of ~100 Hz (operated in collaboration with the Pulsating Aurora Project).


  • Databases and Data Analysis Softwares ERG Science Center
    Databases and Data Analysis Softwares ERG Science Center
    To conduct ERG satellite observation, ground observation, and simulation in a well collaborated manner to understand the charged electromagnetic field in the inner magnetosphere.
  • Meta-database (IUGONET) IUGONET
    Meta-database (IUGONET) IUGONET
    A database of information extracted from various observation data (wind speed, aurora, terrestrial magnetism, solar activity, and so on), which is built by collaboration of five institutes: NIPR, Tohoku University, Nagoya University, Kyoto University, and Kyushu University.

List of Publications

A list of the academic papers of this study can be viewed from here. (PDF filePDF

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