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Equis II

The rocket investigation “Scattering Layer in the Bottomside Equatorial F-region Ionosphere” was part of the NASA EQUIS II campaign.  Two salvos of sounding rockets were launched from Roi Namur in Kwajalein on August 7th and 15th of 2004. Each of the salvos consisted of one instrumented and two chemical release payloads.

The instrument suite on payload included:
  • built at Utah State University
    • an internally heated Sweeping Langmuir Probe (SLP) to measure electron temperature. The sweep went from -1 to +5 volts. The probe was guarded on one side.
    • a fixed bias (+3V) DC Langmuir probe (DCP) to measure relative electron density.
    • a Plasma Impedance Probe, consisting of Plasma Sweeping Probe (PSP) and  Plasma Frequency.
  • built by Penn State University
    • an Electric Field Probe (EFP).

The instrumented rockets were launched westward into equatorial spread F precursor that was first observed from ground using the Altair radar. The instrumented rockets reached an apogee of ~421 km.  Attitude Control System (ACS) was used to align the payload axis with the magnetic field. A representation of the payload is shown in the two figures below.

Both rocket flights were around 9 pm local time. The relative densities derived from the quasi-DC observed current of the SLP are as shown in Figure 10. These have been normalized at 350 KM (29.036) and 320 KM (29.037) to the PFP observed absolute density. 


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