Auroral Spatial Structures Probe (ASSP)

  • Mission
  • Vehicle
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49.002 UE Oriole-4 was launched from Poker Flat Research Range, AK on January 28, 2015. The ASSP mission attempts to answer questions about what the contributions of small spatial scale and rapid temporal scale fluctuations of electric fields are relative to the larger-scale electrodynamic processes? ASSP investigated the small scale spatial and temporal variability in the E-field that is known to contribute significantly to the overall heating at high latitudes. and the statistics of small spatial and temporal scales relative to the much larger scale electric field patterns. Additionally the Poynting flux into the ionosphere at small spatial and temporal scales is investigated. The rocket was launched along the magnetic field line and carried six sub-payloads that were ejected from the main payload at high velocity. The sub-payloads were deployed both along the flight path and perpendicular to the flight path so that both spatial features and temporal-spatial ambiguities could be explored. Each sub-payload carried a crossed pair of double-probe sensors to measure in-situ electric fields, a three axis magnetometer and a GPS receiver. The data obtained at the different spatial locations and baselines (each pair of sub-payloads defining a baseline) will be used to develop models for the spatial and temporal distribution of E-fields and their correlations.

The Principal Investigator is Dr. Charles Swenson/Utah State University.




Drawing of a Terrier-Black Brant sounding rocket

The Oriole IV is a four stage sounding rocket with a Talos first stage, Terrier second stage, Oriole third stage and Nihka fourth stage. This vehicle can reach altitudes of over 1600 km. Payloads weighing from 300 to about 1000 pounds can be flown.

Additional sounding rocket vehicles

Google Earth Map showing White Sands Missile Range.

The ASSP mission launched from Poker Flat Research Range, Alaska on January 28, 2015.