4DSpace - Strategic Research Initiative

Instabilities and turbulence in the polar ionosphere studied with the integrated, multi-scale 4D (3D in space and time) experimental, theoretical, and modelling approach.

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Artist impression of the 4D measurements in the polar ionosphere with the 4DSpace concept. Credits: Andøya Space Center

Swarm VIP project

(European Space Agency)

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Read more here

Watch the movie about 4DSpace and our rockets that is made by the international news agency Reuters!

4DSpace is a Strategic Research Inititative (Endringsmiljø) at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo. It is an inderdisciplinary centre combining Departments of Physics, Informatics, and Mathematics.

Our goal is to understand the role of plasma instabilities and turbulence in the energy transfer, transport and coupling between different scales in the near Earth space.

We work with integrated studies of ionospheric plasma and our focus is on multi-point, multi-scale 4D (3D in space and time) studies with a new generation sounding rockets and satellites.

More details are provided below and in the news section.


The polar ionosphere is a complex system and a part of the space weather system. Due to the magnetic field configuration it can be directly connected to the interplanetary space and response to events on the Sun. In the polar regions, particle precipitation creates Northern Lights, ionospheric plasma is often turbulent, with many different scales interacting with each other, and to understand it, an integrated approach is needed.  Read more...





With sounding rockets we investigate the polar ionosphere with in-situ measurements. With ICI rocket series we can study the smallest scales in the ionospheric plasma. Our next sounding rockets will allow for multipoint study of the turbulent phenomena. Read more...


We develop instruments for sounding rockets and satellites. Our products, such as the multi-Needle Langmuir probes allow for studies of plasma at different scales. We flow them on sounding rockets, satellites (QB50, NORSAT-1), and collaborate with the European Space Agency and industry on their further development. Other projects include ESA missions such as Rosetta, Cluster and Bepi-Colombo. Read more...

Swarm+ Innovation, Polar Cap Products

In this project we develop Polar Cap Products (PCP) based on the in-situ data from the Swarm satellites. PCP will provide essential information on polar cap patches, which are an important element of the space weather in the polar regions. The project is supported by the European Space Agency, through STSE Swarm+ Innovation. Read more  on the project website...


The flagship of the student space projects: the CubeSTAR is a satellite fully developed by the University of Oslo students that is based on the Cubesat framework. CubeSTAR has provided a great platform for student project and will be soon launched to space. Read more on the CubSTAR on the project website...


The data from space experiments needs to be analyzed and interpreted. We work with data analysis from sounding rockets, ground based instruments, such as ionospheric radars and imagers, multinational space missions, such as Rosetta or Cluster. Read more...




We focus on numerical models for the ionospheric and space plasmas. One of the particular problems considered is the spacecraft-plasma interaction. Read more...


A number of master projects, which are directly linked to our ongoing 4DSpace activities, are available. In addition, international courses with intensive study programs are offered at bachelor, master and PhD levels through CaNoRock and other exchange programs. Read more...



Tags: Japan, Russia, USA, NASA, ESA, Canada
Published Feb. 20, 2014 9:58 AM - Last modified Mar. 24, 2022 5:21 PM