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.