Space Plasma Seminar: Investigations of Plasma and Neutral Gas Dynamics in LEO

Professor Greg Earle, Virginia Tech

Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 3:30-5:00pm

Wilder 115

Science Motivation for the LAICE CubeSat Mission

Plasma and neutral gas dynamics are often coupled in the ionosphere/thermosphere system over a wide range of spatial scales. This talk will present examples of such coupling from observations made by DE-2, DMSP, and Streak-1. Under impulsive forcing, there are other instances in which the large-scale ion and neutral motions are not strongly coupled. Evidence of these behaviors will be provided using the plasma and neutral data from the thermal instrumentation aboard the C/NOFS satellite.

The contrast between these disparate observations leads to some interesting questions, some of which are the focus of a new NSF-CubeSat project that will launch in 2015/2016. The talk will culminate in a brief introduction to this mission and how it will help us to better understand ion-neutral coupling in the low-Earth orbit environment.

For more information, contact Tressena Manning at 603-646-2854 or