Washington, D. C. 20546 202-755.8370

December 10, 1973





GENERAL RELEASE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-4 MISSION DESCRIPTION . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-7 SPACECRAFT DESCRIPTION . . . . . . . . . . 8-13

SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS ... . . . . . . . . 14-21 22-23 TRACKING AND DATA ACQUISITION . . . . . . .. 23-24 DATA PROCESSING AND ANALYSIS PLAN . . . . .. 25 LAENCH OPERATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . .. AE-C MISSION FACTS AT A GLANCE . . . . . . 26 | PROGRAM MANAGEMENT . . . . . . . .. . . .. 27-28

wNick Panagakos Headquarters, Washington, D.C. (Phone: 202/755-368n)

Washington, D. C. 20546 FOR RELEASE:
December 10, 1973

Joseph McRoberts Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. (Phone: 301/982-5566) RELEASE NO: 73-269


NASA is preparing to launch a maneuverable unmanned spacecraft that will be linked through a sophisticated ground computer with scientists in widely scattered parts of the country in a global study of Earth's outer atmosphere.

Atmosphere Explorer C (AE-C) will be launched atop a Delta rocket from the Western Test Range, Lompoc, Calif., about December 13.

Purpose of this and two subsequent missions in 1975 is to explore in detail an area from 120 to 300 kilometers (72 to 120 miles) altitude where important energy transfer, atomic, and molecular processes and chemical reactions occur that are critical to the heat balance of the atmosphere.


November 23, 1973

-2Up to now, this area has been probed a few minutes at a time by sounding rockets and onlv at widely separated points, mostly in the Western Hemisphere. An extensive

world-wide investigation of this region will have a signifigant impact on the scientific community's efforts to construct complete models of Earth's outer environment, and will also add to our understanding of the complex energy-conversicn processes which control this envirnoment.

The main energy input to the atmosphere is known to come from the absorption of solar ultraviolet radiation, and a substantial portion comes from the solar wind ( a mass of ionized gas flowing out of the Sun) interacting with the atmosphere in the polar regions. An immediate consequence

of this interaction can be seen in the aurae, whose bands of light consume more energy than is used by the entire United States. The magnitude and variability of this high

latitude heat source which, during geomagnetic storms causes worldwide radio blackouts, is poorly understood. An important

objective of this mission is to investigate these processes and mechanisms. The spacecraft will also examine particle fluxes, airglow intensities, plasma densities, and temperatures and magnetic fields at the low altitudes where the energy dissipation occurs. Thase measurements will be used to assess the heat balance and energy conversion mechanisms, as well as the flow of heat or energy from one hemisphere to the other. -more-



51 after Atmosphere Explorer, to be called Explorer of 4300 km launch, will be placed in an initial polar orbit (2580 miles) by 156 km (93 miles). Every few weeks, through

be changed use of an onboard propulsion system,. its orbit will of 120 km by lowering perigee (lowest point) to the neighborhood of data (72 milesl It will be maintained there for several days the onboard gathering, and then boosted back to a higher orbit by propulsion system.

a circular orbit At the 120 km altitude, a spacecraft in eventually destroyed would be pulled down by atmospheric drag and by atmospheric friction. AE-C's elliptical orbit circumvents this problem, although a substantial velocity change is required periodically to offset apoqee decay caused by the aerodynamic drag.

After eight months,

the orbit will he circularized and

kilometers maintained at various altitudes between 300 and 600 (180 and 360 miles) during the remainder of the mission. Design lifetime is in excess of one year.

Should a solar flare or other interesting phenomenon occur, Space a central ground computer complex at the Goddard Greenbelt( Md.r will enable the 17 scientist-

Flight Center,

to coordinate investigators utilizing the 14 onboard instruments their activities while the event is actually happening. -more-

There has been no way for such real-time exchange of scientific information in the past. Generally, data have been

collected by the NASA field center involved and transmitted on tape or via documents to individual scientists for study over weeks, months or years. This rapid data exchange among

the participating scientists will allow them to use the AE-C spacecraft like a laboratory instrument, and to make changes in orbit and instrument operations in the light of the preliminary results obtained.

The spacecraft design, making use of existi.ng technology, is relatively inexpensive. Costs for all three spacecraft

are expected to total about $20 million.

The general configuration of the AE satellite is a 16-sided polyhedron. The cylindrical spacecraft is 135 centimeters (53 It

inches) in-diameter and 115 centimeters (45 inches) high. weighs 660 kilograms (1450 pounds) including 95 kilograms (212 pounds) of instrumentation.

Program management is

under the direction of NASA's Office

of Space Science, Washington, D.C., and project management of the spacecraft afd Delta is the responsibility of Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenhelt, Md. Launch operations have been

assigned to Kennedy Space Center's Western Test Range, Operations Division. RCA Corp., Princeton, ?'.J., is the spacecraft prime 4

contractor, and McDonnell-Douglas Corp. builds the launch vehicle.

AE-C Mission Profile Showing Data Acquisition and Orbital Adjust Operations

Perigee Height Adjustment

Alternate Data Acquisition


Oriented or Spinning Data Acquisition

Data Retrieval and Missiona Programming




-5MISSION DESCRIPTION Atmosphere Explorers C,D, and E mark a new approach in scientific spacecraft. They differ in the orbit flown, in the team approach taken by the investigators, in the degree of interaction between the investigators and the spacecraft and data operations, and in the rapidity with which data must he acquired, processed, and analyzed. The data of each investigator are available to all investigators, and the investigators interact as a team to contribute to operational decisions. These second-generation Atmosphere Explorers represent a logical continuation and extension of a basic program in aeronomy being conducted by NASA. The first aeronomv satellite, Explorer 17, was launched on April 2, 1q63. It used laboratorytype vacuum system techniques and obtained the first direct quantitative measures of various atanos;,heric parameters. The resulting new data and concepts 1ndxcated the need for conducting measurements during flights in a way that would permit separating the effects of local ti:e, latitude and altitude. As a result, the second Atmosphere Explorer satellite, Explorer 32, was launched in Ma, of 1966 in a nearly fixed-periqee orbit (inclination 64 degrees" which essentially uncoupled the altitudinal and local time aspects of the orbit but provided low-altitude data at only one latitude. The results of the Explorer 17 and 32 missions demonstrated the need to conduct satellite measurements at sianificantlv lower altitudes. In particular, it became evident that tne behavior of the upper thermosphere is strongly governed by the lower thermosphere, because most of the solar ultraviolet energy is absorbed at altitudes below those normally attainable by satellites. Experimental study of the lower thermosphere thus became a primary goal of the aeronomy program. In addition, the scope of investigations was expanded hv including measurements of ultraviolet energy input and other factors necessary for determining excitation and ionization rates as well as measurements of atmospheric structural parameters (e.g., neutral and charged particle composition, concentration, and temperature). In particular, the second-generation Atmosphere Explorers will study:




-6Composition of, and processes in the thermosDherP such as:

- Ion and neutral composition and reaction rates; - Energetics of the ionized atmosphere; - Processes which control the low energy electron spectra; and - Air glow excitation processes. ° Global structure and dynamics of the neutral atmosphere. The scientists hope the data to be taken, and the intRrpretations to be made of those data, will bring new insight into the processes taking place in the lower thermosphere, and in other regions affected by the lower thermosphere. Such understanding could Possibly lead to better predictions of climate and weather. In order to make such studies oossible and fruitful, new management and technical approaches were adopted: The spacecraft will use onboard fuel to dip into and out of the atmosphere to an altitude which would cause the loss of a passive, circular-orbit spacecraft in less than one revolution. A research team with a set of cohesive, interlocking objectives is used, rather than a group of individual investigators with necessarily different objectives and approaches. The mission requires very extensive tracking, command, and data handling facilities on the ground which necessitates the use of a dedicated computer for data reduction and analysis in near real-time. The altitude range of primary interest is 150 km to 500 km. In addition, excursions down to 120 km are desirable to obtain specific measurements.



AE-C will be placed initially in a highly eccentric orbit with 68.1 degrees inclination, perigee near 150 kilometers (90 miles) and apogee of 4300 kilometers (2580 miles). At intervals of several weeks perigee may be lowered for brief periods to the lowest altitude consistent with spacecraft and instrument safety. Also, propulsion will be used occasionally to maintain apogee near 4000 kilometers altitude. After several months the apogee will be allowed to fall and, through the use of propulsion, a sequence of circular orbits will be established at each of several pre-selected altitudes in the range of 250 to 700 kilometers (150-420 miles). This circular orbit phase of the mission will continue until the fuel is nearly depleted, perhaps a year after launch. In the final phase the remaining fuel may be used to place the satellite in a stable orbit that will provide optimum long range sampling. This final orbit will be complementary with the orbits of the following AE missions. The AE spacecraft has an orbit-adjust propulsion system carrying 168 kilograms (370 lbs) of fuel and employing three hydrazine thrusters to provide a means of adjusting perigee and apogee altitudes. Firing will be done primarily in the despin mode with the spacecraft in either the standard or inverted position to either increase or decrease the velocity and, therefore, change the orbit. The thrusters are also fired at perigee to maintain the 4000 km apogee. A backup spinning thrust mode will also be provided. The main thrust will be a 1.8 kilogram (3.96 lbs) flight qualified unit. Spacecraft dynamics and errors must be small enough to allow velocity increments of 2.5 meters (8.15 feet) per second without exceeding the spacecraft altitude errors. It is expected to .use 2.3 kilograms (5.06 lbs) of propellant for each "up" or "down" excursion using approximately six pounds of propellant for one maneuver. Design considerations make the AE spacecraft capable of withstanding aerodynamic heating effects at a perigee of 120 k:m while spinning and 150 km when despun.

SPACECRAFT DESCRIPTION The Atmosphere Explorer spacecraft is 135 centimeters (53.5 in.) in diameter and 115 centimeters (45 inches) high. The spacecraft and experiments will weigh approximately 660 kilograms (1450 pounds) and will be designed to minimize unbalancing torques created by atmospheric drag encountered at Solar cells mounted on the top and sides of the perigee. outer shells will supply electrical power for the spacecraft Various sensors and probes will project and experiments. through the outer skin to collect data and provide spacecraft attitude control information. The spacecraft is equipped with hydrazine thrusters to provide orbit adjustment capability, thus permiting data collection over a great range of orbits. Structural Subsystem The spacecraft structure consists of reinforced platforms for equipment mounting, an adapter section for launch vehicle compatibility, a suitable number of reinforced handling and lifting pads, and the outer covers. The equipment platforms will provide the structural mounting surfaces-for the outer shell, scientific instruments, electronic packages, attitude control systems, hydrazine thruster subsystem, and launch vehicle adapter. The top of the outer shell will provide a mounting surface for the solar cells and telemetry antennas as well as viewing ports for the solar oriented spectrometers, and the solar cells will also be mounted on the sides of the outer shell to supply the necessary power. Instrument viewing ports will be provided in various locations on the outer shell. Thermal Subsystem Aerodynamic heating as well as solar heating in both the spin and despin modes will contribute to the spacecraft thermal input. Active thermal control provided by a thermally actuated set of louvers on the bottom of the spacecraft that along with heat sinks, insulation and isolation will confine the temperatures of thu spacecraft internal e'uipment to a range of 10 C to 95g.) to 35 C. (4-05I. Attitude Control Subsystem The attitude control subsystem has a momentum wheel for spinning body stabilization, magnetic torquers for orientation and momentum control, nutation dampers for oscillation control and attitude sensors. -more-


The spacecraft has two modes of operation, the spin mode and the despin mode. In the spin mode, the spacecraft will be rotating about the spin axis (Z) which will be normal to the orbital plane. The spin rate is variable by ground command from 0.5 to 10 rpm. A fixed rate of of 4 rpm which is independent of spacecraft momentum and mass properties is also provided and is initiated by ground command. In the despin mode, the spacecraft Y-axis will be aligned with the local vertical and the spin axis (Z) normal to the orbital plane. Ground command may select either a standard position (earth pointing) or an inverted position (zenith

The momentum wheel provides a momentum reference for stabilizing the spacecraft and a reaction torque for controlling the spin rate and despin attitude. The initial angular momentum will be attained by spinning the spacecraft using the Delta vehicle. The magnetic torquers control the spacecraft orientation and momentum magnitude. Horizon sensing will be used to determine orientation. A magnetic precession torque applied to the spin axis will align the axis normal to the orbital plane. An automatic and/or ground-command controller will generate the magnetic torques. Passive nutation dampers during the despin mode of the operation will damp spacecraft oscillations induced by vehicle separation, aerodynamic drag, thruster firing, and other disturbing forces. The attitude sensors for determining the spacecraft attitude consist of infrared horizon scanners and solar-aspect sensors. The attitude-control subsystem will also provide sufficient telemetry data to permit ground-operation assessment and subsystem command control. Orbit Adjust Propulsion Subsystem The orbit-adjust propulsion subsystem uses one or more hydrazine thrusters to provide a means for adjusting perigee and apogee altitudes. Firing will be done primarily in the despin mode with the spacecraft in either the standard or inverted position to either increase or decrease the velocity and, therefore change the orbit.


The main thruster is a 1.8 kilogram (4 pounds) flightqualified unit. Spacecraft dynamics and alignment errors will be small enough to allow velocity increments of 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) per second without exceeding the spacecraft attitude errors. The spacecraft tankage system is capable of carrying 170 kilograms (37n pounds) of propellant to produce a total change in velocity of approximately 600 meters (1980 feet) per second. Power Subsystem The spacecraft power will be supplied by a subsystem consisting of a negative N-on-P solar array, redundant nickel cadmium (NiCd) batteries and the associated power.distribution unit, chargers, power regulators, and converters. The solar array will cover the top and sides of the spacecraft. The spacecraft bus voltage is -24.5 volts. operation at the beginning The power available for science of life (BOL) is 100 watts at a 30 percent duty cycle per orbit. At least once a day the experiment power will be 100 watts continuous for 120 minutes in lieu of the 60 minute period. The power supplied to the scientific instruments after one year in orbit will be 100 watts at approximately 15 percent
duty cycle.

Communications and Data Handling The communications and data-handling subsystem consist of four distinct areas: telemetry, tracking, command and control, and the antennas. Telemetering of the instrument and spacecraft data will be accomplished using redundant encoders, spacecraft clocks, tape recorders, and S-Band and VHF transmitters. Redundant VHF transmitters will telemeter data in real time. The transmitters will operate in the 137 MHz band, employ PCM/PM modulation, and radiate a minimum power of 1 watt.


The PCM telemetry summary is

as follows:


PCM 16,384 bps real time and tape record PCM 131, 072 bps playback VHF, 137.23 MHz PCM/PM S-Band, 2289.50 MHz PCM/PM Main frame channels at 16 eight-bit samples per second; subcom channels at one eight-bit sample per four seconds and one eight-bit sample per eight seconds.


Transmitter: Znooder:


Simultaneous real time and playback using the VHF and S-Band links. Tracking will be accomplished using transponders and 0.25-watt beacons. The 137 MHz beacon will be operated continuously in order to provide Minitrack data and, also, acquisition at some of the network sites. Command Control. Spacecraft command and control will be accomplished by utilizing a PCM instruction command system with the spacecraft compatible for operation at Spacecraft Tracking and Data Network sites. Antennas*. An omnidirectional antenna will be provided for the VHF telemetry, beacon, and command signals. An omnidirectional S-Band antenna will be provided for S-Band telemetry, command and tracking. Engineering Measurements (EMS)

The EMS is a set of sensors that provides essential engineering data for the operation and evaluation of the spacecraft system and scientific instrumentation. Pressure causes, and accelerometers are required for control of orbit adjustments and evaluation of drag performance. The accelerometers serve dual functions by providing engineering data and generating velocity change control signals. The accelerometers will also provide data on'the composition of atmospheric densitv. LAUNCH VEHICLE For AE-C, the two stage Delta 1900 launch vehicle will be used. The vehicle, has an overall length of approximately 35 meters (116 feet) and a maximum body diameter of 2.48 meters (8 feet). The nominal launch weight is 131,460 kilograms (292,130 pounds), including the nine booster thrust-augmentation solid motors. 2



The first stage is a McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company modified Thor booster incorporating ninb strap-on powered Thiokol solid fuel rocket motors. The booster isand liquid by a Rocketdyne MB-3 engine using liquid oxyqen hydro-carbon propellants. The main engine is gimbal-mounted engine to provide pitch and yaw control from lift-off to main pro(MECO). Two liquid propellant vernier engines cutoff vide roll control throughout first stage operation and pitch and yaw control from MECO to first stage separation. The second stage is powered by an Aeroject General which is also Corporation liquid fuel pressure AJ-ln-118F fed engine to provide pitch and yaw control through gimbal-mounted second stage burn. A nitrogen gas system using eight and fixed nozzles provides roll control during powered second as well as pitch and yaw control after coast flight stage cutoff. Two fixed nozzles, fed by the propellant tank helium pressurization system, provide retro-thrust after spacecraft separation. The Atmosphere Explorer spacecraft will be attached to the Delta second stage by means of a standard attach fitting which incorporates the separation system. The standard Delta fairing which is attached to the forward face of the second stage is 560 centimeters long (224 inches) and 162.5 centimeters (65 inches) in diameter. This fairing, which protects the spacecraft from aerodynamic as the heating during the boost flight, is jettisoned as soon second shortly after vehicle leaves the sensible atmosphere stage ignition. inertial An all-inertial quidance svstem consisting of an the sensor package and digital guidance computer controls vehicle and sequence of operations from 1.ftoff to third stage (or spacecraft, for two-stage restart missions) sepaand ration. The sensor package provides vehicle attitude to the guidance computer. The acceleration information to guidance computer generates vehicle steering commands correct trajectory deviations by comparing each stage to computed position and velocity against prestored values. In addition, the guidance computations perform the functions of timing and staging as well as issuing preprogrammed command attitude rates during the open loop and coast guidance phases. For a second stage restart mission, the second burn is also performed under the control of the inertial guidance system.



After second stage burnout, the vehicle will be reoriented so that the spacecraft spin axis is normal to the orbit plane. The desired orbital spin rate will be achieved by rolling the vehicle prior to spacecraft separation.



SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS AZ-C carries 14 scientific instruments. These will Perform simultaneous measurements of incoming solar radiation and Earth's atmosphere to provide information on the physical processes that govern the composition of the lower thermosphere and the ionosphere, thus making possible study of the closely interlocking cause -and-effeat relationships that control Earth's near-space environment. Ultraviolet (Nitric Oxide) Photometer

The ultraviolet nitric oxide (UVNO) photometer will measure the ultraviolet radiation from the upper atmosphere to determine the distribution of nitric oxide in the Earth's atmosphere as a function of altitude, location, and time. The UV emissions will be measured with an ultraviolet spectrometer which is mounted in the spinning section of the spacecraft. The intensity, as a function of observing angle will be related to the density as a function of height. The knowledge of the vertical distribution in the atmosphere, which will be gained by spatical scanning at selected ultraviolet wavelengths will contribute to the understanding of the dynamics of the upper atmosphere. The instrument consists of a fixed grating spectrometer with a telescope and two photomultiplier tubes with their associated high voltage supplies, amplifiers, and logic circuits. The spectrometer is an Ebert monochromator. Investigator: C. A. Barth, University of Colorado.

Cylindrical Electrostatic Probe The cylindrical electrostatic probe (CEP) will obtain measurements of electron temperature and concentration required for the studies of the thermal and particle balance of the thermosphere. In addition, the probe measurements will be employed in conjuction with concurrent ionosphere spacecraft, such as ISIS-2, in studies relating the structure and behavior of the lower F-region to that of the upper F-region. The probe employs two cylindrical collectors mounted on short booms that protrude into the plasma surrounding the spacecraft. Two collectors are employed to provide redundant measurements for use in evaluating possible measurement errors. One sensor ie mounted parallel to the spacecraft spin axis; thereby reiaining perpendicular to the spin axis and sweeps through all angles relative to the velocity vector as the spacecraft spins.



Larry Brace, Goddard Space Flight Center

Bennett (Positive) Ion Mass Spectrometer A Bennett (positive) ion mass spectrometer (BIMS) will make measurements of atmospheric ion composition throughout the altitude range of the proposed AE-C orbits, thereby obtaining the ion data required for the coordinated study of the thermosphere. The spectrometer will make continuous high resolution measurements of thermal positive ions between 1 and 72 amu, sweeping the mass range in 4.6@ seconds, end detecting all ions of concentration 5 ion/cmi to 4 x 10 ion/cm3 . On command, the instrument will switch to a high-mass only mode which permits tripling the spatial resolution of perigee data by continuously sweeping the mass range. Investigator: Henry Brenton, Goddard Space Flight Center


Atmosphere Density Accelerometer The atmospheric density accelerometer (MESA) will measure the neutral density of the atmosphere in the altitude range 120-400 km by measurements of spacecraft deceleration.due to aerodynamic drag. Accurate knowledge of the neutral density and its variations is reauired for a comprehensive understanding of the processes and energy mechanisms which control the structure and behavior of the upper atmosphere. The instrument consists of three single-axis miniature electrostatic accelerometers (MESA) and the associated -electronics. Two of the accelerometers lie in the X-Y plane of the spacecraft separated by an angle of 90 degrees with the displacement angle bisecting the spacecraft X-axis. The third accelerometer lies along the spacecraft Z-axis. The sensing portion of the instrument consists of an electrostatically supported proof mass that is electrostatically pulse-rebalanced along the preferred sensitive axis. The dynamic range of the instrument is from 1 g to 2 x 10-5 g. The instruments will be located as close as possible to the spacecraft center of mass with the proof mass of each instrument centered along the spacecraft Z-axis. Investigator: K. Champion, Air Force Cambridge 1esearch Laboratories.



Photoelectron Spectrometer The photoelectron spectrometer (PES) will measure the intensity and energy distribution of the photoelectron flux in the thermosphere in the 2 to 100 electron volt (ev) range, and primary electrons from 50 ev to 500 ev. It will provide high resolution data on the photoelectron energy spectrum and will monitor the energetic particle flux to above 100 kev. The photoelectron spectrometer uses a 1800 hemispherical electrostatic deflector coupled to an electron multiplier detector. Apertures in the input and output focal plane of the deflector serve as field stops for the analyzer, and establish the resolution of the device which is typically 5 percent. An additional larger aperture placed in front of the first analyzer aperture serves to define the entrance pupil of the system. The first two apertures thus establish the ge metiic factor for the analyzer, which is on the order of 10- cm ster-,independent of electron energy, provided the effects of stray magnetic fields can be neglected. A trap is placed behind the entrance aperture to catch high energy particles and reduce the background from photoelectrons generated within the analyzer. Investigator: J. Doering, Joh:ns Hopkins University

Retarding Potential Analyzer The retarding potential analyzer (RPA) will provide accurate measurements of ion temperature, concentration, and composition. In addition, the instrument will measure the ion drift velocity and the thermal and suprathermal electron energy distributions. The sensor consists of an 8-centimeter diameter cylinder with a 2-cm diameter aperture through which charged particles pass before striking a solid collector. The path between the aperture and collector is electrically segmented by a series of grids whose potentials are controlled by the main electronics box.



The instrument operates in two modes, mode I and mode II. Mode I operation will be used principally during the spinning phase of spacecraft operation. Voltage upsweep and downsweep (between the limits of +32.0 and 0 volts) provide information on the concentration and temperature of the principal ions present. Upsweep, however,is more sensitive to properties of minor heavy ions (i.e., 0+ in H+, or NO+ in 0+) while downsweep is more sensitive to properties of minor light ions (i.e., 0+ in NO+ or H+ in 0+). Mode II operation is the one principally used *;hen the spacecraft is not spinning. The voltage output at ion saturation is stored and used at one input terminal of a difference amplifier. The other terminal is tied to the "live" ion saturation output voltage. Fractional ion concentration changes as small as 10- are detected with a spatial resolution of 130 meters. Investigator: W. B. Hanson, University of Texas at Dallas


Visual Airglow, Photometer The visual airglow photometer (VAE) will provide detailed data on the rates of excitation of the atomic and molecular constituents in the thermosphere. The instrument is basically a bandpass filter photometer. It consL.sts of two basic data channels, a narrow field of view, and a wide field of view. Common to both channels are an eight element filter wheel, command processing, data memory, and low voltage power supply. Measurements will be made of dayglow, aurora, and nightglow phenomena. With information from the spacecraft on solar euv fluxes and neutral composition the intensity of the radiation at 7319-7330 A can be calibrated as a remote monitor of the rate of photo ionization and of energy input to the atmosphere. Measurements of the second positive band of molecular nitroqan (3371 A) and the oxygen green line (5577 A) emissions, combined with neutral composition data, will provide information on two different regions of the photoelectron spectrum. At altitudes below about 200 km, measurements of the oxygen red line (6300 A) will be useful in studies of the densities of atomic and molecular oxygen. From the intensity of radiation at 5200 A the density of nitrogen atoms in the metastable 2 D term can be derived.

' l

-more._ _ _ _


For the aurora, the nitrogen first negative band (4278 A) will provide a remote monitor of the rate of energy deposition in the atmosphere, playing a role similar to that of the oxygen radiation (7319 to 7330 A) during the day. At night, information will be obtained on the recombination of the ionosphere from data on the 5200 A line, the oxygen red line, and at high altitudes the oxygen green line. Green line and Herzberg I emission rates at altitudes near 90 km, which can be deduced from higher altitude measurements will indicate how fast atomic oxygen is recombining. From 5200 A intensities, the N (2D) densities can be deduced and the results used as input to studies of nitric oxide production, as well as for studies of the noctural heating of ionospheric electrons. Investigator: P. B. Hayes, University of Michigan

Extreme Solar Ultraviolet Monitor The extreme solar ultraviolet monitor (ESUMj will monitor the EUV solar flux in six wavelength intervals from 40 to 1220A which represents a major source of energy input into the
lower 1-hermosphere. Secondly, it will measure the broadband

absorption of the atmosphere as a function of altitude to determine effective ionization rates as a function of altitude for N2 and 0. The ESUM consists of four channeltron electron multipliers, three photo diodes, a stepped eight-position filter wheel which contains six unbacked metallic filters which are transparent in the vicinity of the plasma frequency, a calibration position, and an opaque position. This configuration offers a high data redundancy for the instrument and since each of the filters is wed with each of the detectors, will provide a relative inflight calibration of all the detectors. Investigator: Donald Heath, Goddard Space Flight Center

Solar Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrophotometer Thie solar extreme ultraviolet spectrophotometer (EUVS) will measure the spectral distribution of intensity in the wavelength range4 extending from 140 to 1850 Angstroms (A). The instrument consists of 24 monochromators, 12 of which will record intensities at certain fixed wavelengths which are critical to studies of atmospheric structure and to an understanding of mechanisms of dissipation of the input radiant energy. Each of the remaining monochromators will scan a limited wavelength range to give, in total, complete coverage of the 140 to 1850 A region.



Spectral measurements will be made under three different conditions as follows: outside the regions of atmospheric absorption; attenuated flux measurements made during portions of the orbit which are near perigee; and occulation measurement of the attenuated flux will be made at times near spacecraft sunrise and sunset. These measurements will be the primary data for an evaluation of the nature of radiative dissipation, both temporally and spatially, of extreme ultraviolet fluxes in the Earth's thermosphere. The optical-detection system is a monochromator consisting of a field-limiting entrance aperture, a planar reflection grating, a collimating mirror or slit system positioned to analyze the diffracted beam, a thin metallic or crystalline filter, an exit slit, and an ultraviolet-sensitive photodetector. Investigator:

H. E. Hinteregger, Air Force Cambridge Labor-

Magnetic Ion Mass Spectrometer The magnetic ion mass spectrometer (MIMS) will give absolute concentrations of each positive ion species in the ionosphere in the mass range 1 to 64 amu to achieve a quantitative understanding of the physical, chemical, and dynamic processes that take place in the thermosphere. The ion data will also be used to study the distributions of meteoric ions and the SiO+, as well as the AR+ ion chemistry. The concentration of atomic hydrogen and its global distribution can be obtained by measuring the concentrations of H+ and 0+ with the ion spectrometer an 0 with the neutral spectrometer. H+/O+ ratio will reveal the degree of isotopic enrichment which takes place in the earth's atmosphere. Data on the isotopic ratio of oxygen ions may yield information on the mixing strength at lower altitudes in the atmosphere. The instrument is a small aberration magnetic deflection mass spectrometer. It consists of an entrance aperture that is oriented to look out of the spacecraft equator normal to the spin axis, an electrostatic analyzer, and a magnetic analyzer. The electric and magnetic fields are arranged to produce a mass spectrum alcng a focal plane following the magnetic analyzer. Investigator: J. H. Hoffman, University of Texas at Dallas

Low Energy Electron Spectrometer The low energy electron (LEE) spectrometer will monitor the energy imput to the thermosphere from electrons in the energy range 0.2 to 25 kev, determine the characteristics of fiell aligned currents in the transauroral zone, and whether electric fields parallel to the magnetic field lines exist and are the cause of the field aligned currents, and, if so, obtain their location and strength; and will study the magnetospheric substorm precipitation with complete electron measurements.




comprised The instrument consists of 19 detectors, each channel electron multiplier, of an electrostatic analyzer and and will have two modes of operation. The monitor mode will provide good energy resolution, angle measuremoderate temporal resolution, and reduced pitch data acquisition simultaneous with the primary is ments, with satellite aeronomical and ionospheric experiments when the in the spinning or despun modes. either pitch and The data mode will provide sufficient energy, resolution to completely characterize the angle and temporal auroral and important electron radiation encountered in the regions. transauroral Center Investigator: R. A. Hoffman, Goddard Space Flight Open-Source Neutral Mass Spectrometer (OSS) will measure The open-source neutral mass spectrometer of the neutral gas constithe concentrations and distributions These data are expected to determine tuents in the thermosphere. of neutral hydrogen, the instantaneous and global distributions and argon, and atomic and molecular oxygen, nitrogen. helium, above an altitude of anproximatelv 120 the total mass densitv will prcvide auankilometers (km). In addition, the experiment mass range mr.surements of trace constituents within the used in titative (amu). These results will be 1 - 46 atoi..sc mass units and dynamic a comprehensive study of the chemical, energetic, the structure of the therinosphrre. processes that control ion The mass spectrometer employs an electron bombardmemt type magnetic deflection source together with a double-focusing wil1 be measured mass analysis system. The analyzed ion currents and electrometer amplifiers. with electron multipliers Investigator: A. 0. Nier, University of Minnesota Spectrometer

Neutral Atmosphere Composition

(NACE) The neutral atmosphere compostition spectrometer neutral mass spectrometer to measure the uses a closed source amu. atmospheric concentrations of gases of mass 1 to 46





The sensor is a quadrupole analyzer employing a spherical antechamber to interface with the ambient atmosphere through a It consists of a dual-filament ion knife-edge orifice. source, a quadrupole analyer utilizing hyperbolic rods, and an The spectrometer has a resolution off-axis electron multiplier. of better than one amu for all masses between 1 and 46, and the measurement system has a dynamic range of approximately 108. The electronic system consists of an electrode power supply and emission regulator, RF oscillator detector, and logic subsystems. Investigator: D. T. Pelz, Goddard Space Flight Center.

Neutral Atmosphere Temperature Spectrometer The neutral atmosphere temperature spectrometer (NATE) will provide direct measurements of the kinetic temperature of the neutral gas in the thermosphere, the molecular nitrogen density, and the total neutral gas density. The instantaneous concentration of atmosoheriL molecular The spherical nitrogen in a spherical chamber will be measured. chamber, located on a radius of the spinning spacecraft with its knife-edged orifice plane normal to the radius vector, exhibits an internal density variation that is predictable by kinetic theory. Analysis of the variation of the concentration in the chamber, with knowledge of the satellite velocity and orientation, permits a determination-of the ambient kinetic temperature of molecular nitrogen, independent of scale height. A measurement of the ambient nitrogen density is also obtained. The electronic system consists of a pulse counter, data processor, power supplies, and logic. The measurement system provides a digital output that is proportional to the instantaneous density of neutral molecular nitrogen in the spherical antechamber. Investigator: N. Spencer, Goddard Space Fliglt Center


TRACKING AND DATA ACQUISITION The Networks Directorate will provide tracking, command and data acquisition support for the AE-C. Tracking data will be forwarded from the ground stations to the GSFC by means of ground and/or radio links. In order to provide the ability to readjust the orbit if too low after a firing, a tracking/compute capability will be provided to permit verification of the new orbit within 15 minutes. Commands to the spacecraft, including those to be loaded into the spacecraft command memory, will be originated in the AE Operations Control Center (AEOCC), and transmitted to the remote site during or before the time the site is in contact with the spacecraft. The thrust of the change is that commands are not and cannot be transmitted from AEOCC to the spacecraft directly. Telemetry data will be forwarded from the ground stations to the AEOCC upon receipt by means of ground and/or radio links. All telemetry (TM) data will be forwarded, to the extent possible at the rate received. The Rosman, N.C. and Madrid, Spain stations will transmit the real-time telemetry data stream to the AEOCC as received. Other sites will strip spacecraft and selected science data for transmission to the AEOCC as received and will transmit the balance of the data at the rate permitted by the link. Rosman will transmit tape recorded data as received and other sites will transmit them at a reduced rate. There will also be requirements for forwarding other data to permit processing within two hours after acquisition data to permit processing within two hours after acquisition and for forwarding the remainder within 24 hours. AE Operations Control Center All telemetry data will flow through the AEOCC where command verifications, information on spacecraft, and attitude data (for orbit and attitude verifications) will be stripped out and the remaining data transmitted to the Central processor.



for an AEOCC have AE spacecraft functional requirements center computer. To control led to the selection of a Sigma 5 two Sigma 5s are provide redundancy for essential functions the control center in the same area. However, separate located Interfaces between the and auxiliary equipment will be used. attitude computers will Sigma 5 and the TM and the orbit and line computer communications hard be provided by means of standard will provide the Goddard's Mission Operations Division channels. for the Operations Control management and operational support Center. DATA PROCESSING AND ANALYSIS PLAN return and achieve maximum In order to optimize the scientific capabilities of the AE spacecraft, utilization of the variable orbit analysis system is provided for an on-line central processing and analysis for the performing the majority of data reduction the Aeronomy Team. which comprise investigators and theorists (one to several days) on analysis Providing short turn-around times permit adaptive mission planwill of selected aeronomy problems approximately the same location. ning while the spacecraft is in may want to study a particular Team For example, the Aeronomy at a perigee of 150 km latitude in the northern hemisphere condition for three cona highlv disturbed (90 miles) during existing during a one secutive days after noting the condition planning will be made day low perigee excursion. The adaptive analytical capability possible by means of the fast turn-around spacecraft may, thus, whole within the central processor. The be operated like a laboratory instrument. data processing, reduction The computer system to support AE 5, of a Xerox Data Systems (XDS) Sigma and analysis is a combination The Sigma 5 is connected Sigma 9, Sigma 3, and remote terminals. sites through NASCOM communito the remote telemetry acquisition Sigma 9 by high speed communications lines and interfaced to the processor to the Sigma 9. The cations line. It acts as an input remote site terminals through Sigma 9 is connected to Investigator the Sigma 3 communications processor. direct access The Sigma 5 input processor has sufficient three remote input from storage to simultaneously buffer data time correct, and verify the telemetry acquisition sites; collect, resulting data to the central data; and then rapidly transmit the store the latest data on direct computer will computer. The central and will maintain a library access storage for quick look purposes, of all the data on tape. user file handling A data management facility will service will automatically retrieve telemetry and data retrieval requests and it in direct access files. data from a tape library and place
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The Investigators will be aide to submit both interactive and remote batch programs, using remote terminals with high speed printers, card readers and CRT displays communicating over direct telephone lines. Multidrop 4800 bps line sharing will be used to reduce communication costs while maintaining rapid response. All of the data base as well as the facilities of the central computer will be available to the Investigator through these terminals. These facilities include common orbit/attitude-interpolation, scientific and numerical analysis routines as well as the normal services of an interactive/batch time sharing operating system.



NASA launch operations from the West Coast are conducted by the Kennedy Space Center Unmanned Launch Operations, Western Launch Operations Division. The majority of the KSC contingent are on permanent assignment at Vandenberg Air Force Base, although a supplemental group from KSC in Florida assists during the final preparations and launch countdown. The AE-C launch vehicle, Delta 99, has been undergoing checkout and launch preparations since the fiist stage of the Delta booster was erected on the pad at launch complex SLC-2W on November 12. The nine Auxiliary solid motors were attached to the booster on November 12, 13, and 14. The Delta second stage was mated to the first stage on November 15. Tests were conducted of the launch vehicle electrical, mechanical, propulsion, and guidance systems before the spacecraft was to be mated to the launch vehicle on December 6. After spacecraft mate, a simulated flight was to be conducted, the last overall test of the vehicle.




AE-C MISSION FACTS AT A GLANCE From westtern Test Range, Lompoc, California. Two stage Delta with nine solid fuel strap-on motors. 4300 kilometers (2580 miles) Apogee: Perigee: 156 kilometers (93 miles) Period: 130 minutes Inclination: 68.1 degrees At least one year. 660 kilorams (1450 pounds) Drum-shaped (16-sided polyhedron), 137 centimeters (54 inches) in diameter and 117 centimeters (45 inches) high. Conouter, sists of two shells, inner and with solar cells, telemetry antennas and viewing ports on outer shell. Inner shell holds 14 scientific instruments, (94.5Skilograms, 270 lbs), electronic packages, attitude control system, hydrazine thruster subsystem. Solar cells on exterior of spacecraft, redundant nickel cadmium batteries. Provides 112 watts of power during normal operation. Telemetry, tracking and command and control and the antennas. Pulse-coded Modulation (PCM) operating at 137.23 MHz, VHF 2289.50 MHz S-Band Stations of the Space Trackina and Data Network (STDN) onerated 11v GSFC.

Launch: Launch Vehicle: Orbit:

Operating Lifetime: Spacecraft Weight: i Structure:

Power System:

Communications and Data Handling: Telemetry: Tracking and Data Acquisition:

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NASA Headquarters Dr. John E. Naugle Dr. Alois W. Schardt C. Dixon Ashworth Frank W. Gaetano Dr. E.R. Schmerling Joseph B. Mahon I.T. Gillam IV P.T. Eaton Robert R. Stephens Associate Administrator for Space Science Director, Physics and Astronomy Program Manager, Astronomical. and Solar Observatories AE Program Manager AE Program Scientist Director, Launch Vehicle and Propulsion Propulsion Program Small Launch Vehicles and International Programs Manager Delta Program Manager Tracking and Data Analysis Program Manager

Goddard Space Flight Center Dr. John F. Clark Robert N. Lindley David W. Grimes E.Dale Nelsen Nelson W. Spencer William D. Hoggard Forest H. Wainscott II Robert C. Weaver James A. Findlay Director Director, Projects Directorate Project Manager Assistant Project Manager Project Scientist Project Coordinator Project Control Officer Spacecraft Manager Experiment Manager



David J. Haykin William Schindler William B. Johnson

Mission Operations Director Delta Project Manager Delta-Spacecraft Coordinator

Kennedy Space Center John J. Neilon Henry R. Van Goey Wilmer Thacker Carl Latham Director, Unmanned Launch Operations Manager, Western Launch Operations Division Chief, Delta Operations Spacecraft Coordinator

Contractors AF.-C Spacecraft Delta Launch Vehicle RCA Corp., Astro Electronics Div., Hiahtstown, N.J. McDonnell-Douglas Astronautics Co., Huntington Beach, California


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