The Scintillation Prediction Observations Research Task (SPORT) is a 6U CubeSat mission to address the compelling but difficult problem of understanding the preconditions leading to equatorial plasma bubbles. The scientific literature describes the preconditions in both the plasma drifts and the density profiles related to bubble formations that occur several hours later in the evening. Most of the scientific discovery has resulted from observations at a single site, within a single longitude sector, from Jicamarca, Peru. SPORT will provide a systematic study of the state of the pre-bubble conditions at all longitudes sectors to enhance understanding between geography and magnetic geometry. SPORT is an international partnership between National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE), and the Technical Aeronautics Institute under the Brazilian Air Force Command Department (DCTA/ITA), and encouraged by U.S. Southern Command. This talk will present an overview of the SPORT mission, observation strategy, and science objectives to improve predictions of ionospheric disturbances that affect radio propagation of telecommunication signals. The science goals will be accomplished by a unique combination of satellite observations from a nearly circular middle inclination orbit and the extensive operation of ground based observations from South America near the magnetic equator.
Geophysics; Spacecraft Instrumentation and Astrionics
Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites; 5-10 Aug. 2017; Logan, UT; United States