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Earth Planets Space, Vol. 58 (No. 9), pp. 1165-1171, 2006

Dynamics and Energetics of the Lower Thermosphere in Aurora (DELTA)—Japanese sounding rocket campaign—

Takumi Abe1, Junichi Kurihara1, Naomoto Iwagami2, Satonori Nozawa3, Yasunobu Ogawa3, Ryoichi Fujii3, Hajime Hayakawa1, and Koh-ichiro Oyama1

1Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 3-1-1, Yoshinodai, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 229-8510, Japan
2The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
3Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Aichi, 464-8601, Japan

(Received November 25, 2005; Revised July 8, 2006; Accepted July 26, 2006; Online published September 29, 2006)

Abstract: Japanese sounding rocket "S-310-35" was launched from Andøya Rocket Range in Norway on December 13, 2004 during Dynamics and Energetics of the Lower Thermosphere in Aurora (DELTA) campaign, in which the rocket-borne in-situ measurements and ground-based measurements were coordinated to carry out a comprehensive observation of the thermospheric response against the auroral energy input. The instruments on board the rocket successfully performed their measurements during the flight, and thereby the temperature and density of molecular nitrogen, auroral emission rate, and the ambient plasma parameters were derived. Simultaneous measurements by the ground-based instruments provided neutral wind, neutral temperature, the auroral images and the ionospheric parameters near the rocket trajectory. This paper introduces science objectives, experimental outline, and preliminary scientific results of the DELTA campaign and explains geophysical condition at the time of the rocket launch, while the companion papers in this special issue describe more detailed results from each instrument.
Key words: Lower thermosphere, dynamics, energetics, sounding rocket, aurora.


Corresponding author E-mail: abe@isas.jaxa.jp


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