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Dynamo Ionospheric Current Magnetometer Investigation

UCLA was invited to participate in a science-magnetometer experiment on the Dynamo rocket project, jointly with JPL. The project was internally funded by research and development programs at the two institutions. The Dynamo-MAG experiment is related to the Dynamo overall objective to measure the ionospheric dynamo currents. Specifically, the MAG instrument measures the low frequency magnetic field and its variation with altitude, in order to determine the ionospheric dynamo current density and its altitude distribution.

The magnetometer is a Vector Helium sensor (VHM), of the type flown before on Ulysses and Cassini but miniaturized and using laser technology for cell excitation. JPL leads the MAG effort, with UCLA contributing the MAG electronics design and implementation. JPL is responsible for the VHM sensor design and implementation.

The lead investigator for the Dynamo rocket mission is Dr. Rob Pfaff at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, with JPL Dynamo-Mag principal investigator Dr. Neil Murphy and UCLA team lead Prof. Vassilis Angelopoulos.


rocket
Dynamo rocket prior to launch



integration
UCLA Student Ivan Bernal at the Dynamo
payload integration facility at NASA/Wallops



payloadinset
Diagram of Dynamo rocket payload



Launch Video: