Date of Award

Winter 1990

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Roger L Arnoldy


Data obtained from the January 1988 flight of the Topaz 2 sounding rocket will be presented. It has been found that four types of ion populations were observed during this flight. During the early portions of the upleg and late portions of the downleg numerical fits of the plasma will be compared with in-situ data to show the Maxwellian behavior and derived plasma parameters. Throughout the middle portion of the flight superthermal tails (ion conics) were observed and are modeled using a bi-Maxwellian distribution function from which T$\sb{\rm perp}$ and T$\sb{\rm par}$ can be derived. Two other ion populations were observed in the most intense auroral arcs. Transverse accelerated ions (TAI) were observed continuously in these arcs. The individual TAI events were found to have spatial/temporal scales on the order of the analyzer resolution ($\sim$1 sec). The characteristic perpendicular energy of the TAI reached as high as 7 eV compared to 1 eV during non-TAI times. High-energy tails have also been observed during TAI events and have perpendicular temperatures in the hundreds of eV. The second ion population found in the arcs of high energy electron precipitation is a cold downflowing population. The typical streaming velocity for this population is 2 km/s. A correlation between the high energy auroral electron precipitation, observed electrostatic oxygen cyclotron waves, cold down flowing ions and the TAI will be presented.

Preparation and calibration of the instruments for NASA flight 35.020 will also be presented. As part of NASA flight 35.020, an upgrade of the calibration facility was performed. The calibration facility project included the designing and implementation of a photoelectric electron gun and an electron impact ion gun. The characteristics of these two particle sources will be discussed. A procedure for the coating of electrostatic charged particle analyzers with metal blacks were devised and will be presented. Finally, the results of the calibration tests of the instruments flown on flight 35.020 will be shown.