Physics Department Seminar University of Alaska Fairbanks

J O U R N A L    C L U B


Highlights of the 2017 Sounding Rocket Season at Poker Flat

Don Hampton
Geophysical Institute



Three science teams successfully launched five rockets from Poker Flat Research Range between Jan 27 and Mar 02, 2017. The PIs for the three missions are Scott Bailey (Virginia Tech), Rob Pfaff (NASA Goddard) and Kristina Lynch (Dartmouth College). All three missions did have a common overall theme in how the aurora interacts with the upper atmosphere. For Polar NOx, the question is the production of nitrous and nitric oxide molecules which are long-lived in the thermosphere but are important to chemical balance in the mesosphere. The Jets mission was examining to what altitude auroral arcs affect the strong westward neutral jets seen in the evening sector lower thermosphere (E-region, 100 to 150 km altitude). Isinglass used multiple payloads to examine the size and distribution in plasma and field gradients associated with auroral activity to understand how what size scales are important in the coupling between the ionosphere, thermosphere and magnetosphere.
I will discuss quick overviews of the Polar NOx (Bailey), and Jets (Pfaff) missions, and go into more detail on early results from the Isinglass (Lynch) mission (for which I was a Co-I).


Friday, 20 October 2017

Globe Room, Elvey Building

3:45 PM