Date of Award:

Spring 2014

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Charles M. Swenson

Abstract

The ionosphere is the atmosphere layer characterized by its high concentration of ionized plasma. It has a great impact on radio communications with satellites, causing disturbances and disruptions. Therefore, it is important to understand and predict the ionosphere characteristics. The Sweeping Impedance Probe (SIP) is an instrument for characterizing the ionosphere used for many decades with great success. In this thesis, a new SIP architecture design is presented using the latest techniques and components available. The design is detailed and analyses have been performed to ensure the required performances. The new SIP will be flown in the Auroral Spatial Structures Probe (ASSP) sounding rocket mission in early 2015, and it is expected it will make the most accurate measurements to date. Lastly, the conclusions of this project are presented and future work is outlined for what will become the next generation of SIP instruments.