Daytime Dynamo II

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After six scrubbed attempts, two sounding rockets were launched from the Wallops Range in quick succession at Wallops Island, Virginia on July 4, 2013.

Both rockets, a Black Brant V and a Terrier-Improved Orion, were launched from the Pad 2 – MRL and ARC Launchers.

The Black Brant V was launched first at 10:31:25 AM, and the Terrier-Improved Orion was launched 15 seconds later at 10:31:40 AM. The Black Brant V had an instrumented payload that measured the earth’s electric field, magnetic field, plasma, and neutral density, while the Terrier-Improved Orion had a chemical payload which measured the same things. The Terrier-Improved Orion’s payload released vapor trails to illuminate the neutral winds in the upper atmosphere that drive the currents.

With this launch, RMMO support consisted of telemetry operations, range timing and communications, radio frequency monitoring and communications, precision tracking radar, surveillance radar operations, range data processing and display operations, range air & sea surveillance, communications, weather office, meteorological operations, photography, video, and optical tracking. RMMO personnel delivered all products necessary to meet customer requirements for supporting the sounding rocket launches during pre-mission testing, launch operations, and post-launch.

The launches marked the second half of the Daytime Dynamo Launch Investigation, following the first in 2011. The Dynamo mission is a joint project between Goddard Space Flight Center and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The project was designed to investigate the neutral-ion coupling and shear wind effects in the Daytime Lower Ionosphere. By exploring the ion-neutral coupling, wind shears, and electrodynamics of the mid-latitude lower ionosphere, scientists hope to determine the cause of intense daytime irregularities that are consistently observed in the mid-latitude ionosphere during the summer.

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