"It was a terrific aurora, the rocket worked great, the instruments worked great and the supporting radar (at Poker Flat) worked wonderfully," said Steve Powell of Cornell University, the principal investigator for the launch. "We achieved all of our objectives. We're ecstatic over the results and our graduate students can't wait to sink their teeth into the data."
After monitoring satellites earlier Saturday that showed an abundance of charged particles coming from the sun and streaming toward Earth's magnetic field, members of the rocket team, which included University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers and personnel from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, were prepared for a night of vigorous aurora. With clear skies at Poker Flat and also at the villages of Fort Yukon and Venetie, where they had narrow-field cameras aimed toward the sky, the scientists opened their launch window at 8 p.m. They watched the aurora dance directly overhead at Poker Flat, waited until the aurora was perfect over Fort Yukon and then launched the two-stage rocket.
In the 10 minutes, 25 seconds it took for the rocket to arc to a high point 200 miles above Venetie to the payload's landing in northern Alaska, a complicated array of antennas deployed, and the rocket both gathered and then transmitted an immense amount of information back to Poker Flat.
"We got a CD of data in our pockets the same night," Powell said. Graduate students at Cornell University, the University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth College and the University of Oslo will use the data as part of their doctoral studies. Their goal is to better model Earth's upper atmosphere and discover more about how space weather affects satellite communications we use every day.
The launch is the first and final one from Poker Flat Research Range this spring. Technicians from the range are today searching for the two rocket motors used to propel the mission. A few days after its launch, Powell was at Poker Flat marveling how the launch went.
"So many things have to come together to have a mission success, and we had them all Saturday night."
Poker Flat Research Range is the largest land-based sounding rocket range in the world and is located 30 miles north of Fairbanks on the Steese Highway. The UAF Geophysical Institute operates the range under contract to NASA. More than 300 major scientific sounding rockets have launched from the facility since it was founded in 1969.
ADDITIONAL CONTACTS: Steve Powell, Cornell University, 607-227-8421. Poker Flat Research Range: 907-455-2110.
NOTE TO EDITORS: A photo of the launch in available for download at www.uafnews.com.
ADDITIONAL CONTACTS: Steve Powell, Cornell University, 607-227-8421. Poker Flat Research Range: 907-455-2110. Marmian Grimes, UAF public information officer, at 907-474-7902 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ned Rozell | EurekAlert!
New Boost for ToCoTronics
23.05.2019 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
The geometry of an electron determined for the first time
23.05.2019 | Universität Basel
Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.
The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...
Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future
When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
23.05.2019 | Materials Sciences
23.05.2019 | Materials Sciences
23.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy