ECE PhD Prospectus Defense Announcement: J. Brent Parham, 10/27, 10:00 am, PHO717
- Starts: 10:00 am on Friday, October 27, 2017
- Ends: 12:00 pm on Friday, October 27, 2017
Title: Satellite Swarms for Auroral Plasma Science Presenter: J. Brent Parham Date: October 27th, 2017 Time: 10AM Location: PHO717 Advisor/Chair: Prof. Joshua Semeter (ECE) Committee: Prof. Alex Olshevsky (ECE), Prof. Brian Walsh (ME), Dr. Robert Legge (MIT Lincoln Labs) Abstract: With the growing accessibility of low-cost satellite measurements, Boston University set out to create a space-based swarm called ANDESITE to do multipoint magnetometer measure- ments of current systems embedded within the Aurora Borealis. In this work we will develop the satellite system and a model of it along with a rigorous, physically consistent, method to test its capability. Over the last two years, we have developed the system from conceptual de- sign to physical spaceflight ready hardware that is scheduled to launch on an upcoming NASA ELaNa mission. With the impending launch and a model based on the performance of the real hardware system, we evaluate the designed swarm geometry for its ability to resolve postulated plasma wave phenomena. Ultimately, we asses the sensor networks ability to test models of energy dissipation mechanisms that cause the filamentary structure of aurora, e.g. how Alfve ́n dispersion along the magnetic field lines of Earth play into the system. From this analysis we also propose a future mission with a controlled formation that is optimized for the scien- tific context. Building on that, we will set forth a framework for the use of satellite swarms in reconstructing scalar and vector fields associated with the physical parameters defining the plasma environment. These investigations then inform the current ANDESITE mission and future concepts that could help decipher energy transport in the magnetospheric-ionospheric coupling that occurs at high latitude. Such satellite swarms will also play important roles in developing future space infrastructure for terrestrial weather, communication networks, and many other Earth observation needs.
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