Tech

August 18, 2012

NASA ER-2 collects Perseids meteor shower dust

This Large Area Collector sensor is carried under the wing of a high-altitude NASA ER-2. When the aircraft reaches 65,000 feet altitude, the clam shell-like doors open to reveal pads covered with sticky oil that traps microscopic cosmic material.

NASA’s high-flying ER-2 science aircraft is looking deeper into the skies overhead the week of Aug. 13.

The aircraft is flying three eight-hour missions to collect cosmic dust during the Perseids meteor shower. Samples collected during the flights provide valuable information about the origin and history of the solar system.

ER-2 No. 809, carrying Large Area Collectors mounted under both wings, flies to an altitude of more than 65,000 feet. The pilot then activates the collectors’ clam shell-like doors revealing pads coated with a sticky, sterile silicone oil. The doors are closed as the aircraft descends, sealing the pads that are later sent to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston for curation, preliminary characterization, and then made available to qualified scientists worldwide.

The Large Area Collector sensor is mounted under the wing of NASA’s ER-2 high-altitude aircraft as it awaits a cosmic dust collection mission. Collected samples provide valuable information about the origin and the history of the solar system.

The Perseids is an annual meteor shower visible from mid-July through mid-August, primarily in the Northern Hemisphere. Although the shower is visible to the human eye at night, the aircraft is collecting cosmic debris during daytime hours.

“The collection is timed to catch the particles after they have settled into the lower stratosphere,” said Mike Zolensky, a space scientist at NASA Johnson who has coordinated cosmic dust flights with these devices for more than 25 years.

NASA’s ER-2s are based at the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif. The Large Area Collectors were developed in the 1980s by NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., for Earth science research.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
   
 

 

Headlines August 31, 2015

News: Pilot killed in crash was helping wounded veterans – A pilot who died in a small plane crash in the desert northeast of Los Angeles was giving free glider rides to wounded military veterans. Turkey carries out first air strikes as part of anti-Isis U.S. coalition – Turkish fighter jets have carried out their first air...
 
 

News Briefs August 31, 2015

Pakistan officials: U.S. envoy discusses Afghan peace efforts Pakistani officials say visiting U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice has discussed efforts to revive Afghan peace talks. Rice met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif Aug. 30. Two Pakistani officials say they discussed efforts to revive talks between the Afghan government...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

F-22 inaugural deployment to Europe

Courtesy photograph A pair of F-22 Raptors fly near the coastline of Panama City Beach, Fla. Four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III, and approximately 60 airmen arrived at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to train with allie...
 

 
ILS photograph

Boeing-built satellite will create first global high-speed broadband network

ILS photograph The Inmarsat-5 F3 satellite launched Aug. 28 aboard a International Launch Services Proton Breeze M rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. EL SEGUNDO, Calif.–When the third Boeing-built [NYSE: BA] Inmarsat-5 sat...
 
 

Civil Air Patrol joins total force ‘Airmen’

When conducting missions for the Air Force as the official Air Force auxiliary, the Civil Air Patrol is now included in the Air Force’s definition of the total force. CAP has provided 74 years of support to emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs. In August 2015, the Air Force updated Doctrine Volume 2, “Leadership,”...
 
 
DOD photograph by Air Force MSgt. Adrian Cadiz

Carter announces manufacturing initiative to aid war fighters

DOD photograph by Air Force MSgt. Adrian Cadiz Defense Secretary Ash Carter announces the creation of a National Manufacturing Innovation Institute to produce hybrid electronics during a speech at the National Full Scale Aerody...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>