First Results from a New Rigid Falling Sphere Probe to Measure Winds, Density, and Temperature in the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere
Thursday, 18 December 2014
We outline the development, test, calibration, and results from the first flights of a new rigid falling sphere probe which were launched in the summers of 2011 and 2013 as part of the NASA Daytime Dynamo sounding rocket campaign at Wallops Island, Virginia. Using highly sensitive accelerometers in conjunction with GPS data, the new rigid falling sphere probe provides a new means to detect the neutral wind, density, and temperature measurements, primarily below approximately 130 km. Initial results will be shown and the accuracy of this technique will be assessed. The maturing of the falling sphere technique provides a possible complement to the well-established vapor trail technique.