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Daytona Beach


Physical Sciences

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Investigation of Earth’s mesosphere using sounding rockets equipped with a myriad of instruments has been a highly active field in the last 2 decades. This paper presents data from three separate instruments: an RF impedance probe, a DC fixed bias Langmuir probe, and an electric field probe, that were flown on a mesospheric sounding rocket flight investigating the presence of charged dust within and/or around a sporadic metal layer. The combined data set indicates a case of payload surface charging, the causes of which are investigated within this paper. A generic circuit model is developed to analyze payload charging and behavior of Langmuir-type instruments. The application of this model to the rocket payload indicates that the anomalous charging event was an outcome of triboelectrification of the payload surface from neutral dust particles present in the Earth’s mesosphere. These results suggest caution in interpreting observations from the Langmuir class of instrumentation within dusty environments

Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics



American Geophysical Union

Additional Information

Dr. Barjatya was not affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the time this paper was published.