The Bailey rocket was located and successfully retrieved. It has been returned to Poker Flat Research Range
Bailey - POLARNOX - Virginia Tech, 19 Jan 2017
|Date||Flight Number||Night / Day||Vehicle||Agency||Experimenter||Experiment|
|19 Jan 2017||36.302 UE||Night||Black Brant IX||NASA||Bailey||PolarNOx|
|Zone*||Pad||Recovery Required?||Launched?||Date Launched|
|1S, 2, 3, 4||3||YES||YES||04:45am January 27, 2017|
The overall goal of PolarNOx is to determine the altitude profile of nitric oxide (NO) in the polar night. NO is created by aurora. In a sunlit atmosphere, NO would be destroyed in about one day. But in the polar night it is expected that the NO abundance can grow to large values. At present we a have a poor understanding of how much NO is produced in the aurora and how it is distributed in altitude. We know that in some years, the polar night NO is transported to lower altitudes where it catalytically (i.e. very efficiently) destroys ozone. When this happens, the effects are significant as the temperature at that altitude is increased and the circulation can be altered. Thus we have a need to understand NO, its abundance, and its altitude distribution. We measure that by using a star as a light source and observing attenuation of the star light by NO. A rocket is needed because NO absorbs only ultraviolet light, which does not travel through air near the surface, so the measurement must be made from space.