Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Stephen A. Whitmore
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.
Martineau, Joshua F., "In Situ Method of Measuring Atmosphere Neutral Winds with a Rigid Falling Sphere" (2012). All Graduate Plan B and other Reports. 183.