Seminar: HelioSwarm: Uncovering the Nature of Turbulence in Space Plasmas

Wednesday, April 07, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Speaker: Kristopher Klein, Assistant Professor - University of Arizona

Abstract: There are many fundamental questions about the temporal and spatial structure of turbulence in space plasmas. Answering these questions is complicated by the multi-scale nature of the turbulent transfer of mass, momentum, and energy, with characteristic scales spanning many orders of magnitude. The solar wind is an ideal environment in which to measure turbulence, but multi-point observations with spacecraft separations spanning these scales are needed to simultaneously characterize structure and cross-scale couplings.

Recently selected for phase A study for NASA’s Heliophysics MidEx Announcement of Opportunity, the HelioSwarm Observatory proposes to transform our understanding of the physics of turbulence in space and astrophysical plasmas by deploying nine spacecraft to measure the local plasma and magnetic field conditions at many points, with separations between the spacecraft spanning MHD and ion scales.  HelioSwarm resolves the transfer and dissipation of turbulent energy in weakly-collisional magnetized plasmas with a novel configuration of spacecraft in the solar wind. These simultaneous multi-point, multi-scale measurements of space plasmas allow us to reach closure on questions of how energy is distributed in typical solar wind conditions, as well as in extreme conditions relevant to astrophysical plasmas. 

This online seminar will take place on Zoom and will require a password to join. If you wish to watch the seminar and have not received a password via email, please contact Robbin McPherson at 

Contact Info