The project Energy conversion and transfer in the solar wind–magnetosphere–ionosphere system (ECSTRA) addressed topics related to the energy flow from the solar wind to the ionosphere. The project extended over 5 years, from January 1, 2007, to December 31, 2011, and was realized by the Space Plasma and Magnetometry Group (GPSM) at the Institute for Space Sciences (ISS), Bucharest.

The tasks of the project formulated in the PECS Experiment Arrangement were: (a Systematic examination of local energy conversion; (b) Structure of the energy conversion regions; (c) Waves in the energy conversion regions; (d) Energy conversion in slow mode shocks; (e) Investigation of the auroral acceleration region; (f) Study of the coupling between boundary layers and auroral ionosphere; (g) Organization of workshops. These tasks provided the broad framework to organize the work.

The work on ECSTRA took advantage from the interaction with three other projects, focused on the physics of aurora and magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling: Plasma physics as applied in geophysics: Auroral phenomena (ALEGRO), 2006-2008, and Magnetosphere–ionosphere coupling in the auroral region (M-ICAR), 2011-2014, supported under science programs of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research, as well as Plasma coupling in the auroral magnetosphere-ionosphere system (POLARIS), 2010-2012, supported by the International Space Science Institute (ISSI), Bern.

The project emphasized three stages of the solar wind–magnetosphere–ionosphere interaction chain. Thus, work on collisionless shocks is summarized under Shocks, the exploration of energy conversion and transfer in the plasma sheet is discussed under Plasma sheet, while investigations of the magnetosphere–ionosphere coupling are reported under M–I coupling. A complete list of publications, consisting of refereed papers and presentations at international conferences, is provided under Publications.

Solar-Terrestrial Interactions: Instrumentation and Techniques
(STIINTE 2007)

Solar - Terrestrial Interactions from Microscale to Global Models
(STIMM 2007)

Multi-point investigations of magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling and aurora
(19th Cluster Workshop)

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