CTD Booms Fly on NASA rocket 35.039 (VISIONS-2)

February 7, 2019

On December 7, 2018, CTD’s Compact Electric Field Instrument (CEFI), flew on the NASA VISION-2 rocket  from Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, in Norway. While not originally intended as flight hardware, two opposing CTD booms and deployers were launched to collect wave measurements associated with the cusp aurora which is useful for space weather analysis relative to the magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling. Measurements were captured along the entire trajectory, with an apogee of 805 km. The booms deployed to a length of approximately 2.5m (~5m tip-to-tip). This exciting effort resulted from a NASA effort to mature the CEFI design to a flight-ready system, including missionizing the booms to include wiring, metalization, and sensors on the tips. This effort was lead by CTD’s Aerospace Lead, Alexi Rakow, Ph.D., supported by the CTD Space Deployables Team.