Space X Falcon 9 Rocket and POPACS deployment configuration

The main objective of Project POPACS is to measure the changes in density of the auroral zone upper atmosphere, in response to various solar stimuli, such as flares and CMEs. The mission consists of deploying three 10 cm diameter Aluminum spheres into an elliptical polar orbit and tracking them as they make repeated perigee passes in the upper atmosphere, with special emphasis on perigee passes within both the northern and southern auroral zones. The spheres have identical external dimensions and surface compositions, and thus identical drag coefficients, but they have different masses (1, 1.5, 2 kg) to vary their ballistic coefficients, which will cause them to spread out in right ascension along the original orbit.  


  • TLE Files Files with archived TLE data have been uploaded to the "Files" page. Coverage is from 10/11/2013 through 11/13/2013.
    Posted Nov 19, 2013, 11:05 AM by Janelle Jenniges
  • POPACS Visibility Email from Dr. Kelso:Gil, I finally came up with a good way to show why we don’t have visibility on any of the POPACS spheres right now. Basically ...
    Posted Nov 19, 2013, 11:02 AM by Janelle Jenniges
  • POPACS Viewing Dec 18 - Jan 13
    Posted Nov 11, 2013, 10:24 AM by Janelle Jenniges
  • POPACS Current Status Email from Dr. Gil Moore to AFRL Starfire Optical Range Imaging PersonnelFrom: GilMoore12@aol.com [GilMoore12@aol.com]Sent: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 5:19 PMTo: laura.durr ...
    Posted Oct 31, 2013, 11:01 AM by Janelle Jenniges
  • POPACS Has Been Spotted "POPACS 2 has officially been spotted!!!!  It was exactly where stellarium predicted it to be at 7:27 PM tonight, Oct 19th.  I managed to track it for about 10 ...
    Posted Oct 21, 2013, 11:02 AM by Janelle Jenniges
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