2013-2014 Science Planning Summaries
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Balloon Array for RBSP Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL)

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

Event Number: A-144-E

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Brian Johnson

Dr. Robyn Millan (Principal Investigator)
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~barrelExternal Non U.S. Government Site

Dartmouth College
Physics and Astronomy
Hanover, New Hampshire

Supporting Stations:  Special Project
Research Locations:  SANAE IV (South Africa) and Halley VI (UK)

Project Description:
Balloon Array for RBSP Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) is a multiple-balloon investigation that will study electron losses from Earth's Van Allen Radiation Belts. Atmospheric losses of relativistic electrons play an important role in radiation belt dynamics. Precipitation into the atmosphere may even completely deplete the radiation belts during the main phase of some geomagnetic storms. BARREL is the first "Living with a Star Geospace Mission of Opportunity" and will support NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) mission. Researchers will address the following science objectives: (1) Determine the total electron loss rate by simultaneously measuring relativistic electron precipitation over a range of local times; (2) Directly test models of wave-particle interactions by combining precipitation measurements with simultaneous RBSP in situ wave and energetic particle measurements; (3) Determine the relative importance of different classes of precipitation and their associated precipitation mechanisms for different magnetic activity levels; and (4) Determine the spatial extent and spatial structure of precipitation.

Field Season Overview:
Field team members will launch a total of 20 small (~20 kg) balloon payloads from the South African base SANAE IV, and from the British base Halley VI, between December 15, 2013 and February 15, 2014. All personnel and cargo will be transported through the British and South African Antarctic programs.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Brett Anderson
  • Nicholas Lavers
  • Michael McCarthy (Co-PI)
  • Robyn Millan (PI)

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