Characterizing the out-of-ecliptic solar wind

The focus of this project is the solar wind, a steady plasma stream of solar atmosphere lost by the Sun and blowing past the planets. Spacecraft have measured the solar wind for many decades. All but one spacecraft observe in the ecliptic plane (Earth’s orbital plane). For studies of the global heliosphere (Voyager 1, 2; IBEX), the complete 3D solar wind is needed as input, including the out-of-ecliptic solar wind. The only mission to ever measure solar wind away from the equator was Ulysses, a NASA/ESA mission (1992-2009). The Ulysses solar wind data need to be analyzed, separating their long-term behavior from short-term fluctuations, and generalized in a statistical manner in order to characterize possible, realistic 3D configurations of the solar wind. The project is dominated by computer work. The prerequisite is having an affinity for using computers extensively in this way.