Measurement of DC Electric Field in the Midlatitude Ionosphere by S-520-23 Sounding Rocket Experiments
Abstract:S-520-23 sounding rocket experiments are carried out at Uchinoura Space Center (USC) in Japan at 19:20 LT on 2 September, 2007. The purpose of this experiment is the investigation of the process of momentum transportation between the atmospheres and the plasma in the thermosphere during the summer evening time at mid latitudes. The S-520-23 payload was equipped with a two set of orthogonal double probes to measure both DC and AC less than 40Hz electric fields in the spin plane of the payload. One of the double probe is the inflatable structure antenna, called the SPINAR, with a length of 5m tip-to-tip. The SPINAR was the first successful use of an inflatable structure as a flight antenna. It extended and worked without any problems. Another one is the NEI type antenna with a length of 2m tip-to-tip. The electrodes of two double probe antennas were used to gather the potentials which were detected with high impedance pre-amplifiers using the floating (unbiased) double probe technique. The potential differences on the two main orthogonal axes were digitized on-board using 16-bit analog-digital converters, sampled at 400 samples/sec with low pass filters at cut-off frequency of 40Hz.
We have investigated the DC electric field during the rocket ascent. And it was able to obtain the electric field vector in a geographic-coordinates system. The direction of DC electric field vector at altitude from 140km to 170km is seems to be dependent on the direction of a neutral wind in the ionosphere. And intensity of DC electric field is increasing at altitude more than 260km. Its direction is east. It is thought that the polarization electric field was observed in the region where the difference of the electron density was large after sunset.
In this presentation, we will describe the result of investigation of the relationship between an electric field and ionospheric plasma in detail. Especially the dependence of the direction of electric field and the direction of the neutral wind is investigated. Then we will show the irradiated region during the sounding rocket flight, and examine a possibility that a polarization electric field is generated in this region.