Date of Award

5-2012

Degree Type

Report

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Stephen A. Whitmore

Abstract

The new falling sphere instruments will measure lower E-region winds and density, which are critical for many of the electrodynamics and plasma physics studies that are carried out as part of the NASA suborbital rocket program. The new falling sphere design will take advantage of modern commercially available electronic components and materials. Of primary importance, it is proposed to fly an in-situ instrument that targets the measurement of neutral wind profiles over the altitude range from 80 to 150 km, with accuracy better than that achieved in previous implementations of the falling sphere technique and those typically obtained with the chemical release technique. The falling sphere instrument will measure the lower E-region winds and density, which are critical for many of the electrodynamics and plasma physics studies that are carried out as part of the NASA Geospace suborbital rocket program. This gives a report of the overall design and the rigid body dynamics involved as well as some post flight analysis.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on September 4, 2012.

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