Sounding Rocket VII/Plasma Probe
(Launched at 19:50, 5/5/2010)

In this project, a plasma probe which is the primary payload of Sounding Rocket VII for the measurement of plasma density profile of the bottom side of the ionosphere over the Taiwan area will be developed and manufactured by the scientific team of the National Central University. Because Taiwan is located at the crest zone of equatorial anomaly region, which is characterized by intense plasma density associated with electric field in the geomagnetic equator, the in-situ measurement of the plasma density using ion trap provides an excellent opportunity to investigate the behavior of the equatorial anomaly. In addition, it is well known that the plasma irregularities in ionospheric E and F regions are occurred very frequently over Taiwan area, which are generated through respective plasma instability processes. These plasma irregularities may be responsible for the causes of the amplitude and phase scintillations that will impair the communication between satellite and earth. It is a great opportunity for us to understand the macro and micro structures of the plasma irregularities through the in-situ measurements of the ion trap. In order to carry out these experiments, a science team which consists of a number of faculties with expertise associated with the payload of the sounding rocket and ground-based radar experiment are organized in the National Central University. Based on the design of the Ionospheric Plasma and Electrodynamics Instrument onboard the ROCSAT-1 and the successful experience of Sounding Rocket V which was collaborated with Professor Minami at Department of Electrical Engineering of Osaka City University, we will design and manufacture the plasma probe in National Central University for this project. We anticipate that this project will establish a foundation for the developments of a series of scientific payloads for the subsequent experiments of the sounding rockets, including retarding potential analyzer, ion drift meter, and ion mass spectrometer, and so on.