STEREO/IMPACT Sonification Project

Introduction to our project and group:

Together with Janet Luhmann, Nahide Craig and Bryan Mendez, I am working with the NASA STEREO/IMPACT Mission Education and Public Outreach activities.  One activity that the PI of IMPACT suggested was turning IMPACT data (particle and field data) into music that can be heard in stereo.  Here is a presentation (movies and sounds missing right now) describing our plans that N. Craig gave at the EGS-AGU conference in Nice, France, 2003.  We want to emphasize the stereo aspect since the STEREO mission will have two satellites separated by some distance, both with instruments observing solar events.  You may have already heard of this mission, but if not you can learn more about STEREO itself at:
and about IMPACT at:

What we have done so far

We have already begun a very small sounds project using Helios data, mapping the energy fluxes to sound volume with each energy mapped to a note in a chord.  You can see what we've done if you visit this web page:
which is a page connected to our "sounds" web page:
What we would like to do is to use the Helios data until we get STEREO data (after Nov. 2005) to make a web page where someone can play with different ways of mapping the data to music and then listen to their mapping (in stereo).  For example, the way we have done it so far (with energy flux mapped to sound volume and energy bins mapped to a specific chord) would be one option.  But another option might be to map the energy bins to different instruments with the same note, or another option to have each energy bin a different note and a different instrument.  We also think it would be interesting to produce a museum kiosk with this data-sound activity together with the images of the sun which will be able to be created in 3-D using the two satellites.
Every year, we have to propose our IMPACT E/PO projects to the STEREO E/PO coordinator in order to get money to do them.  Our plan for this project is to have a good proposal with a budget that will get sent this Fall and then we would really start the work next year.

Potential Contract Collaborations:

Marty Quinn has done much work with sonification of data and he is interested in helping us.  He has worked with the E/PO group at New Hampshire (the Solar Songs CD is a good example) as well as with John Keller at the University of Arizona who had Marty help him with Mars data sounds.  John suggested that we might want to find out about having Marty help us with our project since he has so much expertise in this type of project and since he does such a good job (we really like the Solar Songs).  I found your web page:, which has even more interesting examples of turning data into music.  He is interested in helping us!

Here are more data sonification links:

Here are possible tools to use for our sonification project: