The Department "Space Physics" is a result of the unification of two previous Departments "Space Physics" and "Experimental methods of Space Physics". In 1969 these two Departments constituted the foundations of the Group of Space Physics, which later on grew to form the Space Research Institute. The scientific subjects of the Department form one of the major scientific lines of the Institute.
The scientific work of the Department was centered mainly on the following problems: large-scale structure of the density in earth plasma, electromagnetic structures in the magnetosphere, dynamics of the subauroral ion drift, relationship between the parameters of the ionospheric-magnetospheric plasma and some large-scale ground-based phenomena; earthquakes, volcanoes etc.; study and improvement of the space sensor methods and techniques for measurements and their application in other fields. Some of present-day projects include investigation of super-large satellite charge in the presence of interaction with ionospheric plasma. A device for measurement of the surface charge of the International Space Station has been developed.
The present tasks of the Department are related to the study and investigation of the cosmic radiation, and also of the processes and phenomena in the upper atmosphere. In the Department there is a Center for forecasts of space weather, which gives 3-day forecasts of the geomagnetic environment.