The 2001 Leonid Multi-Instrument Aircraft Campaign - An early review
Peter, JENNISKENS 1; Ray, W. RUSSELL 2
1 SETI Institute; 2 The aerospace Corporation
The Institute of Space and Astronautical Science repot. S.P.
15 , pp. 3-15
Institute of Space and Astronautical Science
Following a successful deployment in 1999 and predictions of further Leonid stormsin 2001 and 2002, a new set of two airborne missions was prepared in the Leonid Multi-InstrumentAircraft Campaign. Geopolitical circumstances affected the scope of the 2001 mission more thanusual. The NKC-135 "FISTA" aircraft executed a CONUS single-plane deployment with 19 UScitizen researchers onboard out of Edwards AFB, CA. The researchers traveled to Alabama and,after 08:50 UT, slowly returned back to base on a westward trajectory at an altitude of 37,000ft. Non US citizen participants observed from various ground sites. The 1767-dust trail of comet55P/Tempel-Tuttle was well observed. Key results were: a) measurements of meteor flux todiscriminate among meteor storm prediction models; b) high resolution optical spectra that set astrong lower limit to the CN abundance in meteor plasma and measured plasma temperatures asa function of meteoroid mass; c) further mid-IR detections of meteors with simultaneous opticalimaging; d) HDTV recorded low-resolution optical spectra for studies of compositional anomalies inlarge cometary meteoroids; e) the surprising detection of persistent train emission in a slow and notso-bright Taurid fireball, as well as f) the observation of an elve at the peak of the storm. Resultsfrom ground-based efforts included flux measurements of the 1866 storm peak in Australia, the firsthigh frame-rate images of meteors showing a shock-like feature, and the detection of recombinationlines, the UV OH A-X band, and unidentifled near-IR emission in meteor persistent emissions. Thispaper gives a brief overview of the airborne effort and puts the new results in the context of priorwork.
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