Accession Number : AD0444679


Title :   ELECTRICAL PROCESSES IN THE NIGHTTIME EXOSPHERE


Descriptive Note : Environmental research papers no. 32


Corporate Author : AIR FORCE CAMBRIDGE RESEARCH LABS HANSCOM AFB MA


Personal Author(s) : Sagalyn, R C ; Smiddy, M


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/444679.pdf


Report Date : 01 May 1964


Pagination or Media Count : 23


Abstract : Results of nighttime measurements of positive ion densities between 240 and 1875 km are presented. The ion scale height is found to change abruptly around 600 km, increasing from 120 km at 500 km to 1400 at 640 km; it increases gradually with height above this level. An ion temperature of 1050 +50 deg K is deduced from the ion scale height measured above the peak of the F region. Ion-density measurements were obtained by means of a spherical electrostatic analyzer flown on a Blue Scout rocket. In the altitude region 280 to 350 km the ion-density values agree to within 15% with the electron-density measurements obtained from local ground-based ionosondes. Vertical distributions of the principal light ions above 400 km are calculated, assuming the existence of diffusive equilibrium. Relative abundance of the different ionic species at the reference level is determined from the measured profile of the total ion density. Results of the nighttime flight show that the atomic O ion is the principal constituent below 530 km and ionized H the major constituent above 550 km. An upper limit is placed on the He ion distribution, which attains its maximum value at 550 km. At this level it constitutes a maximum of about 7% of the total ion density.


Descriptors :   *NIGHT SKY , *EXOSPHERE , MEASUREMENT , TEMPERATURE , ATOMS , OXYGEN , HELIUM , SOUNDING ROCKETS , DENSITY , IONS , HYDROGEN


Subject Categories : Astronomy
      Atmospheric Physics


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE