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2nd Announcement of Opportunity for Cluster Guest Investigators

2nd Announcement of Opportunity for Cluster Guest Investigators

17 February 2014

This Announcement of Opportunity solicits special operation proposals for participation in the Guest Investigator (GI) Programme of the Cluster extended mission from the European Space Agency (ESA). The aim of the GI Programme is to open future spacecraft science operations to the scientific community. Investigations are solicited which identify compelling utilization of the Cluster spacecraft payload for scientific study, for the period 2015-2016. The deadline for proposal submissions is 2 June 2014, 23:59 CEST.

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Updated 3 June 2014:
Proposal submission deadline is extended to 4 June 2014, 23:59 CEST.

Updated 7 May 2014: The proposal submission form is now available. See below.

Following the successful Cluster Guest Investigator (GI) Announcement of Opportunity in 2010, and the execution of the last GI operations in December 2013, ESA is issuing this second Announcement of Opportunity (AO). The AO solicits special operation proposals for participation in the Guest Investigator Programme of the Cluster extended mission, for the period 2015-2016.

It should be noted that the Cluster mission extension for 2015-2016 is subject to confirmation by ESA's Science Programme Committee in November 2014.

This AO is open to the worldwide scientific community  (i.e. not limited to ESA member states).
Selected proposals will have to obtain funding for their research from their national or other funding agencies.

Proposals to exploit Cluster data along with other satellites data (e.g. THEMIS, Van Allen Probes, SWARM, MMS), or proposals for theoretical and/or modelling studies focused on the goals and objectives of the mission, are encouraged.

Investigators are encouraged to propose the acquisition of data from more than one instrument. Inter-spacecraft separation can be changed but is limited to phasing manoeuvres due to limited available fuel.

Proposers are strongly encouraged to examine the information available via the documentation section of the Cluster Science Archive (, which also accompanies this AO as part of the Proposal Information Package (PIP). In particular proposers are directed towards the instrument user guides, to obtain information on spacecraft payload specifications. In addition, proposers may contact the Cluster Project Scientist, Philippe Escoubet, and also instrument PIs directly for further information on instrument limitations and spacecraft limitations that may be pertinent to their proposal (see the AO documentation for contact details).

Full details of this AO and the guidelines for the Letters of Intent and Proposals in response to this AO can be found in the Cluster AO document, which is included in the documentation package for this AO.

AO documentation: Proposal Information Package

The Proposal Information Package (PIP) for this Cluster AO contains, in addition to the complete Cluster AO document, the following documents:

  • The User Guide (UG) and the Calibration Report (CR) for each of the 11 Cluster instruments (ASPOC, CIS, DWP, EDI, EFW, FGM, PEACE, RAPID, STAFF, WBD and WHISPER)
  • Cluster JSOC System Specification DS-JSO-SS-0001
  • Eclipse (ecl) time files for the four Cluster spacecraft
  • Cluster instrument status November 2013
  • Cluster Active Archive User Guide 4 May 2012

The Proposal Information Package can be downloaded as a single zip file (40 MB) from the right-hand menu, under "Documentation".

Timetable of the AO

Issue date of the AO: 17 February 2014
Deadline for submission of Letter of Intent: 17 March 2014, 23:59 CET
Deadline for submission of Proposal (extended): 4 June 2014, 23:59 CEST
Evaluation phase: June - September 2014
Selection: October 2014
Execution of GI operations: 2015 - 2016

Letter of Intent

A Letter of Intent from prospective Guest Investigator Programme proposers should reach ESA by 17 March 2014, 23:59 CET. The letter should be sent by email to C. Philippe Escoubet (ESTEC) at: and Arnaud Masson (ESTEC) at:

The Letter of Intent should be concise (not more than 3 pages), and should provide the following information:

  1. A descriptive title for the proposal.
  2. Name, affiliation, mailing address, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address of the Guest Investigator of the proposal. If the proposal is from a team, the name, affiliation and email of each member of the team should be included. A Guest Investigator should be identified from that team who will lead the investigations.
  3. A brief abstract (1 page maximum) indicating: scientific rationale; data set(s) required; duration of operations (this should not be more than 10 orbits); region of space for observations; relation to other missions/ground based instruments where applicable.
  4. Intended source for funding.

Contact with ESA

Before submitting your proposal, any requests for further information and clarification should be addressed to:

C.P. Escoubet
Postbus 299
2200 AG Noordwijk
The Netherlands
Phone: (31) 71 5653454
Telefax: (31) 71 5654697

A. Masson
Postbus 299
2200 AG Noordwijk
The Netherlands
Phone: (31) 71 5653574
Telefax: (31) 71 5654697

L. Colangeli
Postbus 299
2200 AG Noordwijk
The Netherlands
Phone: (31) 71 5653573
Telefax: (31) 71 5654791

Proposal submission

The proposal should be submitted electronically, using the online submission form that can be accessed below or from the right-hand menu (the form opens in a new window).

ESA will confirm by e-mail the reception of the proposal. 

The proposal must be received not later than: 4 June 2014, 23:59 CEST (has been extended by two days from the original deadline 2 June, 23:59 CEST).

Proposal Submission Form

NOTE: Accepted file formats are: .pdf, .doc and .docx, with a file size limit of 50 MB.

NOTE: The page limit for a proposal (page size A4, font size 12), including references and figures, is 6 pages:

  • cover page: 1 page;
  • scientific objectives (including the abstract and data requirements): 3 pages;
  • management plan: 1 page;
  • funding statement: 1 page.
Last Update: 1 September 2019
14-Jul-2024 11:00 UT

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