A Sundial-Atlas Precursor to the TIMED Mission : A Quick-Response Global Investigation into Coupled Lower Thermospheric, Ionospheric, and Mesospheric Physics
- Szuszczewicz, E. P.
- Jun. 04, 1996.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- The SUNDIAL-ATLAS effort was a global-scale investigation which responded to the science priorities of the ITM Panel, the Integrated SPD Strategy Implementation Plan as a whole, and the need for potential cost-saving design criteria for the TIMED mission. The investigation focused on coupling processes in the ionospheric-thermospheric system, taking advantage of the timelines of the ATLAS-1 mission (March 1992), and the global-scale ground-based measurement and modeling activities of the SUNDIAL program. The collaborative SUNDIAL-ATLAS activity was the first opportunity for global measurements of the chemistry, kinetics, and electrodynamics which couple the E-, Fl-, and F2-regions into a single interactive system. As such, the program represented an important first step in studying global issues; and accordingly, was an important proof of concept experiment relevant to the strategic mission plans for the ITM community and the upcoming intermediate class satellite program called TIMED. To meet its projected goals, TIMED must perform a number of critical measurements and execute a number of correlations that were to be tried and tested for the first time in the SUNDIAL-ATLAS investigation. This was designed to include global correlations of thermospheric and ionospheric composition during quiet and disturbed conditions and the co-registration of global-scale ground-based measurements with along-track satellite diagnostics. The SUNDIAL component of the current investigation addressed this need by acquiring, reducing, and analyzing a multi-sensor database that complemented and extended that which was generated in the ATLAS mission (Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science). The SUNDIAL data defined the state and condition of the global-scale ionosphere in the altitude range from 100 km to the F2-peak. These data specified the peak heights and densities of the E-, Fl-, and F2-regions, along with the global distributions of intermediate, descending, and sequential layers which play a critical role in the dynamo region of the lower ionospheric-thermospheric domain. The data were collected by the SUNDIAL network of more than 50 ground-based stations utilizing ionosondes, radars, photometers, Fabry-Perot interferometers, and total electron content measurements. The data were acquired during a three-week period centered on the eight-day ATLAS-1 mission, which provided image and photometric sensing of the altitude distributions of the major and minor ions and neutrals in the ITM system. This report focuses on the scientific contributions of the SUNDIAL component of the overall investigation. Specific findings are described in seven papers (attached) published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19960050392., Accession ID: 96N34447., NAS 1.26:201923., NASA-CR-201923., and RPT-97-14.
- No Copyright.
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