Updates on the IAP DEFINE sounding rocket project

News received from PI – Boris Strelnikov at Leibniz Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the University of Rostock (IAP):

Their new sounding rocket project – Density Field in the MLT: Neutrals, Electrons, and trace gases. Radiative and dynamical balance (DEFINE) is now fully funded. Congratulations!

It must to be conducted in close coordination with the Swedish project ORIGIN.
The rocket launch is planned for January-February 2025.
One DEFINE rocket from Andøya Space and 2 ORIGIN launches from the ESRANGE.

If all goes well, the DEFINE and one of the ORIGIN rockets will be the first ever to launch simoultaneously from Andøya Space and ESRANGE.

A brief scientific summary will come soon.

GCI M/LT workshop during CEDAR 2022 (student rocket (GHOST) secured)

Dear friends and colleagues,

This is a reminder about the GCI M/LT workshop to be held during the upcoming CEDAR in Austin, TX.

The workshop will be held at the Line Hotel (CEDAR venue) between 6:30 and 8 PM, June 20th. Exact room number is yet not known, but will be advertised in due time.

I will try to organize Zoom or Teams access for those not able to be present. It all depends on the available infrastructure, and links will be posted in the room update email in such case.

Microsoft Teams-meeting (if infrastructure allows)

Join from a computer or mobile app

Click here to attend the meeting


GCI Mesosphere / Lower Thermosphere (M/LT) aims to study the M/LT region with both new and well proven techniques using a multitude of platforms and instruments. Recent theoretical and modelling developments allow for study of dynamic processes on a large range of scales – including the potential impact of small scale processes on a global scale. The white paper can be downloaded from this link: https://www.grandchallenge.no/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/GCI-MLT-Whitepaper-realease-version-3.1.docx. For those of you who are new to the GCI CUSP and M/LT projects – necessary info is presented here https://www.grandchallenge.no/about-grand-challenge/

The 2022 CEDAR workshop in Austin, TX is coming closer by the day (19 – 24 June 2022), and I think it would be a good idea for us to have a meeting either Monday 20th during that week. As some of you might already know, NASA has agreed to sponsor our proposed student rocket – GHOST, like they did back in 2017 when they handed us the two-stage GCI CUPS student rocket – G-CHASER. G-CHASER was built and integrated through the US RockSat-X program with participation from Capital Tech University, University of Tokyo, Pennsylvania State University. University of Oslo, Arctic University of Norway – Tromsø, University of New Hampshire, University of Puerto Rico, Virginia Tech and West Virginia University. Over 100 students were part of the G-CHASER, and about 50 of them participated both at NASA Wallops Flight Facility for the 1st integration in Agust 2018, and in January 2019 at Andøya Space in Norway for the final integration and launch during the GCI CUSP CAPER-2 launch campaign. This gave them a fantastic experience and loads of new friends and contacts for future endeavors. The launch operations of the G-CHASER was sponsored by Andøya Space.

With GHOST we’re aiming for students from these countries:
USA, Norway, Sweden, Germany, France, Switzerland, Canada, Poland and UK.

In other words, we are talking about students from the countries that are part of the M/LT project, plus those being a part of the ESA EASP project (ESRANGE Andøya Special Project).

One of the items we need to discuss during a possible workshop in June is how to advertise, select proposals and ensure the best possible use of the GHOST. We also need to look at the M/LT status and identify future campaigns that would benefit from being coordinated in time and location etc. We should also look into data sharing. In the CUSP project this is handled by the SIOS at Svalbard who’s hosting all the data (or metadata only) on their servers. This provides us with a solid server setup and a professional front end for collecting/using the data.

First GCI M/LT project successfully launched – XENON French balloon from ESRANGE

From Peter Dalin, at Institutet för rymdfysik (IRF) we have just been notified that they have successfully launched XENON French balloon (Europian balloon infrastructure project HEMERA and CNES balloon campaign KLIMAT 2021) to 32.6 km altitude on the night 16-17 August 2021.
Two images of NLC as seen from the stratosphere from 32.6 km altitude are shown below.

NLC as seen from the stratosphere from 32.6 km altitude
NLC as seen from the stratosphere from 32.6 km altitude

The preliminary results are as follows:

  1. All three NLC cameras and electronics were completely operational in the stratosphere for more than 10 hours at temperatures minus 30-32 degrees.
  2. Two wide angle cameras registered NLC in the twilight sky sector from north-west to north-east. NLC were of a moderate brightness and were located at high latitudes to the north of Esrange.
  3. The NLC instrument has survived and has no damages after the landing of the gondola.

From the ground support side:

  1. NLC camera located at IRF (Kiruna) has registered the same NLC as seen from the balloon.
  2. EISCAT (Tromsö) and MAARSY (Andoya) radars have registered PMSE in about the same mesopause volume with NLC seen from the balloon.
  3. Lidar at Esrange was successfully operational during the whole night but registered no NLC above Esrange.

To summarize, it was a very successful balloon-borne experiment!

The next balloon launch with the NLC instrument is planned in August 2022.

GCI M/LT CEDAR workshop summary

Workshop Summary

Meeting started 1800 CET and lasted until 20:10 CET. We had roughly 80 participants and 14 talks from 7 of the 9 participating countries. An initial technical issue with Zoom caused a 10 minute delay and new Zoom-links to be distributed, but overall it went as planned.

As we hoped, we received updates on already planned (and some funded) projects, new initiatives and requests/offers for cooperation. Based on this, as well as our experiences during the run-up to the GCI CUSP, we found that it was time to start planning a physical meeting as the next step in the process around GCI M/LT. This will therefore be sought to be resolved through a dedicated session during this year’s AGU Fall Meeting. A session proposal for AGU FM was submitted within the deadline.

The session was not recorded, but talks will be made available shortly through the GCI website: https://www.grandchallenge.no/

2021 CEDAR Workshop – Important Information

Dear friends and colleagues.

A few weeks ago we sent out a reminder for the upcoming GCI M/LT CEDAR workshop, June 22, 2021, 1000-1200 MST (1800-2000 CET). Back then we informed you that we’d send out a Zoom-link in due time before the workshop, but things have changed the recent days. The access to our workshop, a part of CEDAR 2021, will be handled by CEDAR. This due to the fact that all participants have to agree to the code of conduct which is a requirement by the CEDAR sponsor.

So we encourage you to take 5 min to register, and all the information will be sent to you by CEDAR. Everybody can register without any registration fee at https://cpaess.ucar.edu/2021-cedar-workshop

Info from the CEDAR organizers:

Dear CEDAR community:

The CEDAR workshop is coming up from 20-25 June, 2021.

Please register for the CEDAR workshop by going to the workshop website. There is no registration fee. 

The agenda is available on the workshop website

To contribute to the individual workshops please contact the workshop conveners.

Please check out the list of individual workshops or look at the agenda. 

CEDAR posters will be available for viewing closer to the event, and open for discussion in three poster sessions (Tuesday-Thursday)

Please consider signing up for student poster judging by sending an email to maute at ucar.edu. This is a great opportunity to interact with the students and provide feedback. 

We are looking forward to your participation in the CEDAR workshop.

If you have questions please contact us (maute at ucar.edu).

The Organizers

Agenda – June 22nd, 2021 GCI M/LT CEDAR workshop

Updated June 21st

1800 CET = 1000 AM MDT

1800-1805: Kolbjørn Blix (Andøya Space, Norway)| Agenda Information
1805-1810: CHAIR: Doug Rowland (NASA Goddard, USA) | Updated GCI CUSP status, M/LT plans
1810-1815: Gerald Lehmacher (Clemson Uni., USA) | VortEx, Andøya, February 2023 – update for new launch window
1815-1823: Boris Strelnikov (Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Germany) | Sounding rocket project PMWE
1823-1831: Jörg Gumbel (Stockholm University, Sweden) | Swedish Airglow Studies Related to GCI M/LT
1831-1839: Diego Janches (NASA/GSFC, USA) | Update: Balloon Sodium Lidar to measure Tides in the Antarctic Region (B-SoLiTARe)
1839-1847: Andres Spicher (U of Tromsø, Norway) | Activity and future plans for studies of dust in the mesosphere at Dep. Physics and Technology, UIT
1847-1855: Kathrin Schoppmann (DLR MORABA, Germany) | MORABA sounding rocket sensor platform for atmospheric research
1855-1903: Gerd Baumgarten (Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Germany) | Fingerprints of turbulence in noctilucent clouds
1903-1911: William Ward (University of New Brunswick, Canada) | Waves and airglow: Coupling across the MLT
1911-1919: Nickolay Ivchenko (KTH, Sweden) | Update on the SYSTER sounding rocket project
1919-1927: Tomasz Noga (Lukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation) | Polish contribution to GCI-M/LT
1927-1935: Martina Faenza (Nammo Raufoss AS, Norway) | Prelim. title: Nucleus, Norwegian sounding rocket for mesosphere research
1935-1943: Hein Olthof (T-Minus Engineering B.V., Holland) | Update on T-Minus DART rocket and successor: DART-XL
1945-2000: Discussions/Conlusions
2000 (ish): Finish

Proposed GCI M/LT session at hybrid AGU Fall Meeting, New Orleans, Dec. 2021

Due to the recent announcement by the AGU Fall Meeting organizers that this years conference will be a hybrid event with both physical and virtual attendance, and many of us will be vaccinated before the summer, we have decided to propose such a hybrid GCI M/LT session. We hope that many of you will have the opportunity to meet physically, and that in this way we can give our common project a necessary injection of energy and increase progress. As mentioned earlier, the pandemic has made it much more difficult to organize the sequel to the successful GCI CUSP project, since meeting physically several times a year (normally CEDAR and AGU FM) contributes to a sense of unity and common goals that one does not achieve as well through online meetings.

The session proposal is already made, and can be downloaded here:

We will get back with updated info as soon as an approval is given for our session by the AGU organizers. The proposal deadline is April 14th 2021, so hopefully i will come soon.

-Kolbjørn Blix

Proposed GCI M/LT session at CEDAR 2021

Dear friends and colleagues.

Months are passing by as we continue to meet mostly through keyboards and video cameras. This is not exactly an ideal situation for creating new projects, but we have to deal with the cards we have on hand. In an attempt at just that, we have requested a new GCI M / LT session during this summer’s CEDAR conference, which will also be held electronically this year as well as 2020. The session we arranged during last year’s conference was very successful with around 100 participants via Zoom . At that time, more than 30 lectures were given on possible projects as part of GCI M / LT from 2022, and around 10 of these were rocket projects. In the meantime, COVID-19 has done its part to ensure that 2022 has slipped backwards and become 2023, and two of these rocket projects that were fully or partially funded have thus been postponed for one year.

However, we want to use this extra time we have been “allocated” to help even more people hear about the project, and not least get an opportunity to tell us others about what exciting opportunities they see in a possible participation. We will also use the CEDAR session to update ourselves on the status of the projects presented last year. If we are really lucky, the meeting can also be used to agree on a physical meeting in 2022. Who knows…

You will find more info on the requested session, June 22nd, here: http://cedarweb.vsp.ucar.edu/wiki/index.php/2021_Workshop:Grand_Challenge_Initiative_MLT#Description

We will inform you if and when the session is approved by the CEDAR organizers, and start challenging you for talks in due time.

Grand Challenge Initiative Mesosphere / Lower Thermosphere online CEDAR 2020 workshop completed successfully

As a part of the “CEDAR Virtual Meeting 2020” the GCI M/LT workshop started 1700 CET and lasted until 20:10 CET. The Zoom counter showed steadily 100 participants, which was max allowed for our session in Zoom. We apologize to those who were denied access to the meeting due to the maximum limit of 100 participants for which the session was set up.

We had 24 planned talks, 1 was cancelled but will be posted online. A couple had technical issues, but overall it went as planned.

Lot’s of new ideas for science projects and cross country/Atlantic cooperations in M/LT research from 2022 as part of GCI. At this point of time 10 sounding rocket Projects are either funded, proposed or will be proposed for participation in GCI M/LT:

SEED (Sporadic E Electrodynamics) (Barjatya/Embry-Riddle)
VortEX (Lehmacher/Clemson/USA)
4DSpace/DAEDALUS (Miloch/UiO/Norway)
Turb3D (Strelnikov/Lubken/IAP/Germany)
MaxiDusty-2 (Mann/UiT/Norway)
ORIGIN (Gumbel/MISU/Sweden)
SYSTER & BROR (Ivchencko/KTH/Sweden)
ROMARA (Stude/DLR/Germany)
GHOST (Grand Challenge Mesosphere Student Rocket) (Blix & Koehler/ASC/COSGC)

The list of planned ground based and ballon science projects/campaigns will be updated shortly.

At the end of the meeting, a GCI M / LT coordination group was set up consisting of representatives from all 9 GCI M/LT countries, plus dedicated coordinators for the program itself and for student rocket(s). This group becomes an important part of the job of operationalizing the project’s white paper and the good ideas presented thorugh the talks in this session.

To increase the chances for success , the GCI M/LT should start planning for a broad participation at the 25th ESA Symposium on European Rocket and Balloon Programmes and related Research which will take place on 6-10 June 2021 in Biarritz, France. This biannually scientific gathering is all about activities at Andøya Space Center (Norway) and ESRANGE Space Center (Sweden).

The session was recorded, and these recordings and some selected talks (those who had technical difficulties) will be made available shortly.

GCI M/LT Coordination Group:
Chair: Douglas Rowland (NASA Goddard, USA)
Program Coordinator: Kolbjørn Blix (ASC, Norway)
Student Rocket Coordinator: Chris Koehler (U of Colorado/COSGC)
Gerald Lehmacher (Clemson, USA)
Takumi Abe (ISAS/JAXA, Japan)
Wojciech Miloch (UiO, Norway)
Ingrid Mann (UiT, Norway)
William Ward, (New Brunswick, Canada)
Boris Strelnikov (IAP, Germany)
Jörg Gumbel (Stockholm University, Sweden)
John Plane (University of Leeds, UK)
Tomasz Noga (Lukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation, Poland)
Oleg Ugolnikov (Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences)

Download links:
Recording of the complete session:

Part 1 of the GCI M/LT online workshop in June 2020
Part 2 of the GCI M/LT online workshop in June 2020
Part 3 of the GCI M/LT online workshop in June 2020

Talks experiencing technical issues: (to come soon)
David Miles (University of Iowa) | Sounding Rocket Magnetometer Option

Oliver Drescher (DLR MORABA, Germany) | HAS – Development of a thrust controllable research platform to hover in the middle atmosphere

Vladimir Yushkov (Central Aerological Observatory, Russia) | Sounding Rocket in Russia

Joan Stude (German Aerospace Center / DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics) | Future plans on deploying our rocket mass spectrometer ROMARA

Complete list of talks:
1700-1705: Kolbjørn Blix (ASC, Norway)| Agenda Information

1705-1710: CHAIR: Doug Rowland (NASA Goddard, USA) | GCI intro – CUSP status, M/LT plans

1710-1715: Gerald Lehmacher (Clemson Uni., USA) | The Vorticity Experiment (VortEx) 2022: an update

1715-1720: Wojciech Miloch (U of Oslo, Norway) | Lower ionosphere – thermosphere and space weather activities at the University of Oslo, Norway

1720-1725: Boris Strelnikov (IAP, Germany) | Scientific questions for sounding rockets (by B. Strelnikov and F.-J. Lübken)

1725-1730: Henriette Trollvik (U of Tromsø, Norway) | Mesospheric Dust Studies Using Rocket Observations

1730-1735: Jörg Gumbel (Stockholm University, Sweden) | ORIGIN – a proposed rocket campaign connecting O, O2 and OH in the Earth\’s nightglow

1735-1740: William Ward (University of New Brunswick, Canada) | Untangling dynamics and transport in the mesopause region

1740-1745: Nickolay Ivchenko (KTH, Sweden) | \”SYSTER\” rocket project as part of ESA Daedalus Phase A campaign

1745-1750: David Miles (University of Iowa) | Sounding Rocket Magnetometer Options (Pre-recorded)

1750-1755: Yun-Hang Cho (University of Sheffield, UK) | Overview of the Sheffield Space Initiative and Opportunities with GCI M/LT

1755-1800: Richard Collins (University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA) | Wave Activity Forcing of E-Region (WAFER) Richard Collins for the WAFER team

1800-1805: Oliver Drescher (DLR MORABA, Germany) | HAS – Development of a thrust controllable research platform to hover in the middle atmosphere (Pre-recorded)

1805-1810: Vladimir Yushkov (Central Aerological Observatory, Russia) | Sounding Rocket in Russia (Pre-recorded)

1810-1815: Peter Dalin (Swedish Institute of Space Physics) | Stratospheric Observations of Noctilucent Clouds – SONC experiment

1815-1820: Joan Stude (German Aerospace Center / DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics) | Future plans on deploying our rocket mass spectrometer ROMARA

1820-1825: Diego Janches (NASA/GSFC, USA) | Balloon Sodium Lidar to measure Tides in the Antarctic Region (B-SoLiTARe)

1825-1830: Xiaoyan Zhou (University California, Los Angeles, USA) | The BALBOA Project: BALloon-Based Observations for Sunlit Aurora

1830-1835: Oleg Ugolnikov (Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences) | Noctilucent Clouds Size Estimation from All-Sky Monitoring: Color and Polarization Approaches (Pre-recorded)

1835-1840: John Plane (University of Leeds, UK) | Questions in mesospheric chemistry

1840-1845: Mattias Abrahamsson (SSC, Science Services Division, Sweden) | Esrange Space Center – a launch and measurement site for GCI M/LT

1845-1850: Liz MacDonald (NASA GSFC, USA) | Citizen Science and the Grand Challenges

1850-1855: Tomasz Noga (Lukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation) | Polish Contribution to GCI M/LT

1855-1900: Hein Olthof (T-Minus Engineering B.V., Holland) | Use of micro sounding rockets for supporting 4D atmospheric measurements

1900-1905: Martina Faenza (Nammo Raufoss AS, Norway) | Nucleus, Norwegian sounding rocket for mesosphere research

June 23rd online workshop – talk upload and connection info

The GCI M/LT online workshop is getting nearer by the day, and it’s time for you all to upload your talks to the CEDAR wiki page for our event.

Why is this necessary, you might wonder? Well, it’s caused by the fact that our workshop is a part of the CEDAR Virtual Meeting, June 22-26 2020 (http://cedarweb.vsp.ucar.edu/wiki/index.php/2020_Workshop:MainVG). The workshop was originally planned, and accepted as a part of the “physical” CEDAR 2020 in Santa Fe, and we’d like to keep that connection.

What you all need to do June 19th THE LATEST! :

  1. Name your talk like this: Firstname_Lastname.pptx or Firstname_Lastname.pdf
  2. Point your browsers here http://cedarweb.vsp.ucar.edu/wiki/index.php/2020_Workshop:Grand_Challenge_Initiative_MLT
  3. Locate your own name in the list of talks
  4. Click it, and upload your short (~5 min) talk
  5. Note Zoom link and time to connect

So, no need to email us the presentation. Use the procedure above.

The list of talks might change if some “late bloomers” should arise  😊

Current program:

Looking forward to seeing you all soon.

Sign up for the Grand Challenge Initiative M/LT online workshop, June 23rd – 1700-1930 CET

Dear friends and colleagues.

Since CEDAR was canceled this year, it is important that we take steps to maintain the progress of GCI M/LT. One way to do this is to host an online workshop that ensures that we can handle much of what is lost by not being able to physically meet Santa Fe as planned. We therefore propose a Zoom-based replacement where each participant gives an online lecture, either directly (max 5 minutes) or in the form of a pre-recorded talk (could be more than 5 minutes). 5 minutes is a short time, but from experience we know that this is enough to present thoughts and ideas about planned or proposed projects that you want to implement in GCI M/LT based on white paper that was sent to you all in March 2020 https://www.grandchallenge.no/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/GCI-MLT-Whitepaper-realease-version-1.docx

According to the GCI M/LT white paper the project is planned to start in 2022 with the VortEx campaign. This gives us a perfect opportunity to plan complementary and new campaigns during and after VortEx. The white paper has entries from 9 nations on possible science topics, technologies, platforms, ground based observatories and potential research partners.

The Zoom session will take place June 23, 2020, 1500-1730 UT (1700-1930 CET) and will be chaired as a “regular” session.

To ensure the best possible scientific outcome and value for the funding institutions, we should use this workshop to do short (5 min) presentations (either live or pre-recorded) on proposed/planned experiments/campaigns and allow discussions/comments. In the end of the session the organizers will propose the formation of a GCI M/LT PI-coordination group, as well as time/place/type of follow-up meeting.

Please sign up for the workshop https://www.grandchallenge.no/conference/ with your name, email, suggested title of your talk (due to the 2,5 hrs time slot we will have to limit the amount of talks) and whether you will prefer pre-recorded or not. Deadline for signing up will be June 12th 2020.

The Zoom-link will be sent out by email as we approach June 23rd. It will also be posted on the GCI web.

Latest info @ https://www.grandchallenge.no/

GCI M/LT white paper ready for use

The final version of the GCI M/LT white paper is ready for use. All 9 countries shown on the logo has now contributed to the content with research topics, supportive instrumentation and experiments they’ve planned to conduct as part of this grand challenge project. Now it’s all up to you. Please feel free to use the white paper as valuable background information for your funding applications in the month to come, and let’s know how it turns out in the end.

As we informed in March, there will be no CEDAR GCI M/LT workshop. However, we’ll start planning a miniaturized online version of what we where planning for the cancelled CEDAR workshop. So, what we should do before the summer:

  • Those of you who were thinking about giving a short talk during the cancelled CEDAR WS, should send us a title that can be entered into an online session.
  • It’s vital for the success of GCI M/LT that we form a group of PI’s coordinating the GCI M/LT science efforts in the months to come. Important issues here are:
    • Out of all the ideas and science topics in the white paper – what should we concentrate on trying to implement?
    • Who should do what with who, with what, from where and when? This is paramount for the planning that will be needed to be carried out by instrument makers, rocket planners/builders etc.

So, despite COVID-19 we can make this work. When it comes to physical meetings, we are aiming for a GCI M/LT session at AGU Fall Meeting 2020, 7-11 December (https://www.agu.org/Fall-Meeting). If this will happen or not, who knows, but we need plans for the future.

GCI M/LT white paper is complete

Today the GCI M/LT white paper was finalized after receiving the latest post from the countries that have indicated their interest in participating in the project. It will be distributed through the email list shortly.

Kolbjørn Blix
GCI M/LT Coordinator

GCI M/LT workshop at CEDAR 2020 cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak

Based on this email from Astrid Maute in the CEDAR 2020 planning committee, we have to inform you that also this planned GCI M/LT meeting is cancelled too:

“Dear workshop proposers,I would like to inform you that the 2020 CEDAR workshop is cancelleddue to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alternative virtual options will be exploredfor a modified CEDAR meeting.
Please stay safe and healthy,Astrid on behalf of the CSSC

Astrid Maute”

Due to the current situation world wide, the GCI ML/T core group will start working on the possibility of having zoom/Teams talks/meetings laster this spring to ensure that we can continue to develop the GCI M/LT project, despite the COVID-19 setback. Information about this will be issued in due time. Good ideas are mostly welcome.

GCI M/LT status meeting at EGU cancelled

The EGU is officially announcing the cancellation of the physical EGU General Assembly 2020 in Vienna, Austria, and so the GCI M/LT status Meeting during EGU 2020 in Vienna, Austria – SMI32 is cancelled too.

Next chance to meet is:

GCI M/LT workshop during CEDAR 2020
Will take place June 23rd, 1:30 to 3:30 PM at Eldorado Hotel and Spa.

Agenda TBD, but potential M/LT participants are requested to give a short presentation (5 mins) about campaign plans (Rockets, satellites, Balloons, ground based etc). Focus on the importance of data sharing through the SIOS database will be one topic.

GCI M/LT status meeting @ EGU 2020 – room and time fixed

Updated Jan 30th
UPCOMING: GCI M/LT status Meeting during EGU 2020 in Vienna, Austria – SMI32
To reduce the need for travels for our European colleagues, we plan to arrange a GCI M/LT status meeting May 5th to allow us to update each other on the current status of the project development, plans and possible GCI M/LT related projects in Europe. Agenda TBD, but potential M/LT participants are requested to give a short presentation about their plans for participation (5-10 mins).

Room: 0.51 (28 person capacity) at the EGU conference centre.
Meeting type: by invitation only

The first GCI M/LT sounding Rockets – G. Lemacher, Clemson Univ. – “VortEx”

NASA has approved the sounding rocket experiment “VortEx” to be launched from Andoya Space Center in January/February 2022. The project is currently in the design phase. On two launch nights we plan to launch two rocket each, with instrumented and chemical release payloads, to study gravity wave breaking and mesoscale dynamics below and above the mesopause. Key region is 80 to 140 km. It is supported by ground-based airglow and temperature imaging, lidars and meteor radars. The novel techniques such as chemical release ejectable ampules, and multiple radar transmitters and receivers have the common goal to perform horizontally distributed observations of winds. This experiment is highly relevant for the Grand Challenge Initiative Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere (GC/MLT), since it addresses important science questions collected in the Grand Challenge white paper. It may be seen as initial start of the GCI/MLT and to field-test new rocket and ground based techniques that may find wider application in the following years. Principal Investigator is Gerald Lehmacher with Co-PIs from Clemson University, Embry-Riddle University, Utah State University and Institute for Atmospheric Physics. More information can be found in Lehmacher et al., Proc. 24th. Symp. Europ. Rocket and Balloon Progr., ESA SP-742, October 2019.

GCI M/LT way forward

  • 2020:
    • Jan: White paper finished
    • Week 8: Science workshop – Japan (TBD)
    • May: M/LT workshop – EGU in Vienna
      • Science topics and time lines (funding, campaigns) presented by each party
    • UPDATED 17.12 2019:
      June: M/LT workshop – CEDAR 2019
      • Info from European meeting
      • Science topics and time lines (funding, campaigns) presented by each party
      • Tentative scenarios discussions
      • GHOST (student rocket)
        • Funding, Consept (RockSat X?), Launch site & time
    • Tag-up during AGU Fall Meeting
  • 2021:
    • April: GCI M/LT tag-up during EGU
      • European (and US if present) funding status?
      • Time line updates
    • June: International GCI M/LT workshop during CEDAR 2021
      • Status:
        • Missions, Funding, Time lines
        • GHOST (student rocket)
        • Scenarios
    • Autumn: Operations workshop(s)
      • DLR Moraba/NASA Goddard SFC/ASC?
  • 2021-2023:
    • Payload and instruments prep
  • 2022-2026:
    • Launch & measurements campaigns

GCI CUSP & M/LT tag-up during AGU Fall Meeting

The GCI Cusp and M/LT core work group have scheduled a tag-up during AGU Fall Meeting.

Time and place: Moscone Posterhall south, Tuesday 10th from 2PM to 3 PM. Room number to be posted later.

GCI Cusp and M/LT talk at AGU Fall Meeting

GCI M/LT illustration by Trond Abrahamsen, Andøya Space Center

Kolbjørn Blix, Director of Space Systems at Andøya Space Center, and program coordinator of Grand Challenge Initiative CUSP and M/LT are presenting both projects (CUSP project status + M/LT plans):

Abstract ID: 486187
Abstract Title: Grand Challenge Initiative – CUSP and M/LT Projects
Final Paper Number: SM34A-01
Presentation Type: Oral
Session Date and Time: Wednesday, 11 December 2019; 16:00 – 18:00
Presentation Length: 16:00 – 16:15
Session Number and Title: SM34A: Earth’s Dynamic Cusps I
Location: Moscone South; 207, L2