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JOULE Sounding Rockets

JOULE rockets launched successfully at 12:15 UT on March 27, 2003


Two instrumented rockets (Terrier-Black Brant 36.206 and Black Brant 21.131) were flown along magnetic azimuths toward the north and northwest to measure the small-scale electric field and electron density fluctuations. SII flew on the Terrier-Black Brant 36.206 rocket. Each instrumented rocket was paired with a chemical release rocket (Terrier-Improved Orions 41.028 and 41.029) that were flown along the same azimuths to map out the gradients in the neutral winds and their effect on the local heating rates as a function of altitude and horizontal distance. The primary measurements from the instrumented rockets were the vertical profiles and horizontal variations in the electron densities and the horizontal variations in the electric fields. The primary measurement from the chemical release rockets was the neutral wind profile.

 


Launch sequence:

  • 36.206 Magnetic North Instrumented - SII Onboard
  • 41.028 Magnetic North Chemical release
  • 21.131 Magnetic Northwest Instrumented
  • 41.029 Magnetic Northwest Chemical release

The SII was one of twelve instruments on NASA's "JOULE" mission led by Dr. Miguel Larsen of Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, USA. The name JOULE comes from the type of ion heating mechanism supposed to be dominant in the E-region of the Earth's upper atmosphere through which the rockets flew. The JOULE rockets attained an altitude of over 110 km for the instrumented rockets and 180 km for the chemical release rockets in their 15-minute, sub-orbital flights.

 

The SII was designed, built and tested at the Institute for Space Research by a technical team of seven (Peter King, Kaare Berg, Greg Enno, Armando Hernandez, Cliff Marcellus, Ivan Wevers, and Robert Thomson) under the direction of David Knudsen. The JOULE SII is a prototype for the e-POP Suprathermal Electron Imager. Its development was funded by Canadian Space Agency through the e-POP project, and through the CUSP SII/SEI project, as the JOULE SII served as a CUSP spare instrument. Booms to support the CUSP and JOULE SEI/SII sensors were built by Bristol Aerospace Limited in Winnipeg, MB.

This was the third flight of the SII, the first being on the Calgary-led GEODESIC sounding rocket mission launched from Alaska in February, 2000 and the second on the NASA CUSP sounding rocket mission launched from Ny-Ålesund, Norway in December, 2002.


 


 


SII-Related Presentations

GEM/CEDAR Workshop, High-resolution Ion Drift Measurements from the JOULE Sounding Rocket Mission, L Sangalli, D Knudsen, J Burchill, R Pfaff, J Clemmons, M Larsen, C Steigies, Santa Fe, NM, June 27 2005.

IUGG/IAGA International Conference, High-resolution Ion Drift Measurements from the JOULE Sounding Rocket Mission, L Sangalli, D Knudsen, J Burchill, R Pfaff, J Clemmons, M Larsen, C Steigies, Toulouse, France, July 2005.

CAP/DASP Meeting, High-resolution Ion Drift Measurements from the JOULE Sounding Rocket Mission, L Sangalli, D Knudsen, J Burchill, R Pfaff, J Clemmons, M Larsen, C Steigies, Edmonton, February 2005.

Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, High-resolution Ion Drift Measurements from the JOULE Sounding Rocket Mission, L. Sangalli, D. Knudsen, J. Burchill, R. Pfaff, J. Clemmons, M. Larsen, C. Steigies, December 16, 2004.

Sangalli, L.. Sounding Rocket Probing of the Ionospheric Collisional Transition Region, PhD thesis, University of Calgary, April 2009.