40.020 Black Brant XII/Lessard/University of New Hampshire 2-13-2007

ROPA launch. Image by Dr. Tod Valentic.40.020 UE Black Brant XII was successfully launched from Poker Flat Research Range, Alaska on February 12, 2007. The purpose of this mission is to investigate various aspects of pulsating aurora. The principal investigator for this mission is Dr. Marc Lessard of the University of New Hampshire. The payload consisted of a main payload, sub payload, and two fly away detectors (FADS).

Visit the Mission Planning Lab (MPL) website to view a simulation of the of the ROPA mission.

ROPA (Rocket Observations of Pulsating Aurora) seeks to understand the response of the magnetosphere to the solar wind and the subsequent transfer of energy to the ionosphere during a pulsating aurora.  The pulsating aurora is typically observed after auroral breakup in the post-midnight sector.

Image right shows the Black Brant XII with the ROPA payload launching from Poker Flat. Image credit: Todd Valentic/SRI.

One of two primary objectives of ROPA is to acquire large-scale, top-side images of a pulsating auroral region for comparison to other in-situ data and to optical data from ground observations.  The second main objective is to investigate current closure associated with pulsating patches.
Lessard payload on the vibration table at Wallops

Image on right shows the ROPA payload on the vibration table at Wallops Flight Facility.

Link to ROPA information at Dartmouth College.