Location

University of Utah

Start Date

19-6-1998 12:00 AM

Description

The middle atmospheric region (-40 to 140 km) is too low to be directly probed by sate11ites and too high to be probed by research airplanes or high altitude balloons. Sounding rockets are the only vehicle that can carry instruments for in situ measurements. Up until now only a few methods have been available to track the location of a sounding rocket- radar skin tracking, radio beacon tracking, and inertial reference platform tracking. In this paper a joint NASA- Utah State University (USU)/Space Dynamics Lab (SDL) project to develop a Global Positioning System (GPS) based solution for tracking small sounding rockets (lOD DARTs to be specific) in the middle atmosphere is presented. The size of the DART casing and the acceleration created by the booster present various obstacles in the implementation of a GPS receiver. Rockwell's Jupiter GPS receiver designer's kit has shown that it is capable of overcoming these obstacles. Test results reveal the Toko DAK series dielectric patch antenna in an active, back-to-hack configuration in conjunction with the aforementioned receiver will provide tracking for DART flights.

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Jun 19th, 12:00 AM

GPS Tracking Small Sounding Rockets

University of Utah

The middle atmospheric region (-40 to 140 km) is too low to be directly probed by sate11ites and too high to be probed by research airplanes or high altitude balloons. Sounding rockets are the only vehicle that can carry instruments for in situ measurements. Up until now only a few methods have been available to track the location of a sounding rocket- radar skin tracking, radio beacon tracking, and inertial reference platform tracking. In this paper a joint NASA- Utah State University (USU)/Space Dynamics Lab (SDL) project to develop a Global Positioning System (GPS) based solution for tracking small sounding rockets (lOD DARTs to be specific) in the middle atmosphere is presented. The size of the DART casing and the acceleration created by the booster present various obstacles in the implementation of a GPS receiver. Rockwell's Jupiter GPS receiver designer's kit has shown that it is capable of overcoming these obstacles. Test results reveal the Toko DAK series dielectric patch antenna in an active, back-to-hack configuration in conjunction with the aforementioned receiver will provide tracking for DART flights.