Articles | Volume 6, issue 3
Research article
19 Mar 2013
Research article |  | 19 Mar 2013

Technical Note: A novel rocket-based in situ collection technique for mesospheric and stratospheric aerosol particles

W. Reid, P. Achtert, N. Ivchenko, P. Magnusson, T. Kuremyr, V. Shepenkov, and G. Tibert

Abstract. A technique for collecting aerosol particles between altitudes of 17 and 85 km is described. Spin-stabilized collection probes are ejected from a sounding rocket allowing for multi-point measurements. Each probe is equipped with 110 collection samples that are 3 mm in diameter. The collection samples are one of three types: standard transmission electron microscopy carbon grids, glass fibre filter paper or silicone gel. Collection samples are exposed over a 50 m to 5 km height range with a total of 45 separate ranges. Post-flight electron microscopy will give size-resolved information on particle number, shape and elemental composition. Each collection probe is equipped with a suite of sensors to capture the probe's status during the fall. Parachute recovery systems along with GPS-based localization will ensure that each probe can be located and recovered for post-flight analysis.