Atmosphere-Space Transition Region Explorer (ASTRE) (Robert Pfaff)

Uploaded by NASAappel on Dec 11, 2011

Okay, thank you very much.
I am Robert Pfaff from NASA Goddard.
I am first going to give you few slides about the ASTRE mission,
which is the atmosphere-space transition region explorer.
Our team is composed of Goddard,
the Aerospace Corporation,
UT Dallas, University of Colorado, UCLA, a company called ASTRA,
which is just a serendipity,
and Orbital Sciences Corporation built our spacecraft.
Essentially what we’re looking at is this fundamental science,
universal physics of how to neutral gases and ionize gases interact
and these are processes inherent to all the upper atmospheres of all the planets.
And essentially, this transition region is shown here,
it’s between basically 100 kilometers and 250 kilometers at the base of the ionosphere
where this interaction is the strongest and this is the region
where the Solar EUV is absorbed at high latitudes, which will be our focus.
It’s where the magnetospheric energy, lot of it is transferred, dissipated,
it also sets the region in motion.
The neutrals our set in motion by the large electric fields from the magnetosphere.
It’s where the Aura light comes from and the current associated with the Aura come down
and they have to, of course, return.
So current closure happens in this very important region.
So ASTRE will provide the missing link in our knowledge of the transfer,
the dissipation, and the regulation of the energy
and momentum from the sun through the magnetosphere
to the upper atmosphere at high latitude.
Okay, our mission implementation slide.
To gather accurate measurements of plasma
and neutral gases, electric and magnetic fields,
and the energetic particles using well-proven instruments, all with excellent flight heritage.
We have a three-axis stabilized spacecraft,
uses on-board propulsion to carry out systematic low- perigee excursions
at high latitudes into this transition region.
To manage at Goddard, we have selected Orbital Sciences Corporation,
who will design, build, and test a highly reliable spacecraft
using high-heritage sub-systems and proven, well-tested, engineering design.
My final slide, some points on our relevance.
We’re highly relevant to NASA’s Heliophysics Science Objectives
and those highlighted in Decadal Surveys.
Fundamental measurements missing from the Heliophysics System Observatory,
so we leverage simultaneously measurements with SDO, MMS, and RBSP.
We gather space environment measurements
essential for understanding “Space Weather” such as those associated with atmospheric drag,
communication and radar outages, GPS positioning, power grid disruptions.
And all of this ties into NASA’s “Living with a Star” program
and we gathered a lot the data that were to be gathered with the I/T Storm Probes and mission,
which is currently on hold.
It’s synergistic with NSF-funded science programs that address the upper atmosphere
and magnetosphere.
And we will maintain an open, highly accessible data base
to promote involvement from the entire space science community.
So thank you.