Principal Investigator: Kristina Lynch

During the launch of the Changing Aurora: in Situ and Camera Analyses of Dynamic Electron precipitation Structures (CASCADES) sounding rocket on March 8, 2005 from Poker Flat Research Range, the third stage of four motors failed to ignite. The timers and functions on the payload seemed to perform properly and although the rocket crash-landed at some 180 mph, the payload was recovered in recognizable condition. The mission was re-proposed and CASCADES2 successfully launched on March 20, 2009 at 110400 UT.

CASCADES payload; photo by Armin Ellis

CASCADES was to investigate motions and structure of electron precipitation in pre-midnight poleward edge discrete aurora. The principal scientific objective was the investigation of spatial and temporal structures within electron precipitation and low-frequency electric field activity in the topside ionosphere.  The experiment consisted of a main payload and four subpayloads.