Diego Janches, GSFC NASA – B-SoLiTARe: “Balloon Sodium Lidar to measure Tides in the Antarctic Region” mission added to the white paper

B-SoLiTARe will be launched from McMurdo Base Antarctica during the austral summer and circumnavigate the South Pole in 7-10 days to measure, for the first time at all longitudes, tidal-like frequency (3-24 h) structures, averaged over a latitudinal band, at high southern latitudes using laser spectroscopy from a sub-orbital platform. Specifically B-SoLiTARe will address

SO1: What are the zonal (longitudinal) wavenumbers, amplitudes, and vertical structures of the diurnal (24 h-) and semidiurnal (12 h-) tides at polar latitudes, as well as the relatively unexplored 8- and 6- h tides?

SO2: Are the presence of Inertia Gravity Waves (IGWs) with periods between 3–10 has persistent and dominant throughout the summer antarctic S-MLT as recent lidar observations have shown them to be at McMurdo during winter? If so can they be distinguished from the 8, and 6 h tides based on the vertical and horizontal structure?

Full overview – check out the updated white paper below.

A. Jaynes, University of Iowa – “LAMP-2” mission added to GCI M/LT white paper

The LAMP-2 mission will be proposed to the NASA Sounding Rocket program solicitation in 2022. The mission concept is building on a currently-funded mission to be flown in February or March, 2022, LAMP: Loss through Auroral Microburst Pulsations. The aim of the LAMP mission is to investigate the connection between pulsating aurora and microburst electron precipitation from Earth’s ring current/radiation belts. This amounts to the high-energy tail of pulsating aurora, which can be relativistic in energy. The follow-on mission, LAMP-2, will further explore the high-energy portion of pulsating aurora, but include more observations of the effects of this precipitation on the atmospheric chemistry of the stratosphere, mesosphere, and lower thermosphere. The mission will be supported by ground-based radar, mm-wave spectroscopy to measure ozone content, and atmospheric modeling based on inputs from the precipitating electron spectrum measured in situ. The connection between space-based precipitation and the chemistry of the MLT region is highly relevant to the goals of the GCI M/LT. The Principal Investigator is Allison Jaynes from the University of Iowa, with Co-Is from University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth College, Goddard Space Flight Center, Clemson University, JAXA, and several Japanese research institutions. 

Checkout the latest version (2.2) of the GCI M/LT white paper. You are free to use it as a basis for applications, publications etc.

JAXA GCI CUSP sounding rocket SS-520-3 launched from Svalbard

The Japanese research rocket SS-520-3 was launched from Ny-Ålesund November 4th, 2021, to investigate the cusp region as a part of the Grand Challenge Initiative Project Cusp.

The cusp region is a funnel created by Earth’s magnetic field, and the region is the focus of a project spanning several research teams with twelve sounding rockets. The Grand Challenge Initiative Project Cusp is designed to advance the common understanding of the space physics in the cusp region.

The Japanese rocket’s specific purpose was to investigate the microscopic mechanism of the ion acceleration/heating in the cusp region by carrying out high time resolution in-situ measurements of the plasma particles and plasma waves.

The two-stage sounding rocket had a nominal, suborbital flight and was able to successfully make in-situ measurements of the cusp region. Telemetry antennas at Ny-Ålesund, Longyearbyen and Andøya participated in the mission.

The rocket reached an apogee of about 750 km.

Principal investigator for this mission was Professor Yoshifumi Saito from JAXA.

More information

Please contact Kjell Bøen, Vice President, Science & Technology, Andøya Space.

Read more about the Grand Challenge Initiative here:


Status – proposed GCI M/LT projects

Current status for proposed/funded GCI M/LT science projects planned for 2022 and later:

SEED (Sporadic E Electrodynamics) (Barjatya/Embry-Riddle):
SEED is funded by NASA. Its launch has been postponed to Summer 2022. It continues to be manifested for a launch from Kwajalein Atoll.
PI Aroh Barjatya has more info at sail.erau.edu/seed

SONC balloon-borne experiment (Stratospheric Observations of Noctilucent Clouds) (ESRANGE, Sweden): Postponed due to Covid until August 2021. Second flight from Esrange in August 2022.

VortEX (Lehmacher/Clemson/USA):
Postponed until September 2022 or February 2023. NASA SRPO hasn’t made a final decision yet, but it will be either.

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/Andøya Space/COSGC):
Formal part of the GHOST proposal will start late 2020/early 2021 towards NASA.

2020 Workshop:Grand Challenge Initiative MLT – CEDAR 2020

The upcoming GCI M/LT online workshop is a part of CEDAR 2020. You will find more info about this on the CEDAR 2020 web.

It might be necessary for all GCI M/LT workshop participants to register With the CEDAR 2020 in addition to the system we provided through the GCI web. However, we will come back With more info on this shortly.

Changed time slot for GCI M/LT workshop at CEDAR

UPCOMING: GCI M/LT workshop during CEDAR 2020
Will take place June 23rd, 1:30 to 3:30 PM at Eldorado Hotel and Spa. The change form 5 to 7 PM is to avoid too much overlap with the poster session which runs from 4 – 7PM.

Agenda TBD, but potential M/LT participants are requested to give a short presentation (5 mins). Focus on the importance of data sharing through the SIOS database will be one topic.