The Calibration of a Large Number of Scientific Instruments for the Auroral Spatial Structures Probe Sub-Orbital Mission.

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Anthony Swenson1, Jaden Miller1, Tim L. Neilsen1, Chad S Fish2 and Charles Swenson3, (1)Space Dynamics Laboratory, North Logan, UT, United States, (2)Atmospheric and Space Technology Research Associates LLC, Boulder, CO, United States, (3)Utah State University, Logan, UT, United States
The Auroral Spatial Structures Probe (ASSP) is a NASA sounding rocket mission to be launched in the early January 2015 time frame from the Poker Flat Research Range. The primary scientific objective of this mission is to determine the contribution of small spatial and temporal scale fluctuations of the electric fields to the larger-scale processes during active aurora. This will be accomplished through the use of a constellation of six small payloads ejected at high velocity from a sounding rocket. The multiple baseline observations of the electric and magnetic fields will be used to observe variability of both the E-field and the Poynting flux. These observations will be placed in the context of available data, including winds, large scale E-fields, and proxy conductivity (airglow images) observations.

Each sub-payload will carry a crossed pair of electric field double-probe sensors, a three-axis magnetometer, and a Langmuir probe. In total there are eight of each instrument type requireing calibration. Since the instruments need to be calibrated over temperature a full calibration of a single instrument is very time-consuming. The decision was made to automate the calibration process. Measurements were taken using a relay switch-box connecting the instruments to test sources. Calibration data were saved into a database. Using post-processing scripts on these databases a calibration for each instrument at each temperature point was made. This approach is a prototype process that might be used for calibrating a large constellation of CubeSats with similar instruments. In this poster we review the ASSP science and mission, and the results of the pre-flight calibration of the science instruments.