Published: 22. March 2009 by: Trond Abrahamsen

DELTA-2 Portraited in National Science Show

The Japanese sounding rocket campaign DELTA-2 is featured on a Norwegian popular science show.

Schrødingers katt is the long-time popular science show in Norway and features both international and national endeavours and breakthroughs in science.

The 10+ minute feature from DELTA-2 contains both NRK footage as well as ARR footage, and interviews with the PI, dr Takumi Abe, and Prof emeritus Dr Eivind V Thrane, Chief Scientist at ARR.

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Schrødingers Katt, 19.03.2009

Published: 26. January 2009 by: Trond Abrahamsen

DELTA-2 Launched

Long exposure of the Delta-2 launch. Photo: Trond Abrahamsen, ARR.

The S-310-39 launch vehicle in the Japanese DELTA-2 campaign lifted off Monday 26 January 2009 at 00:15 UTC in a textbook launch from ARR.

The Delta-2 project aims to investigate the upper atmospheric dynamics and energetics in the polar lower thermosphere by releasing trimethyl aluminum (TMA) along the trajectory and then observing the gas from three different locations.

S-310-39 did a textbook launch, and had a nominal flight.

More information about the flight and the science point of view will be available after the post-flight meeting on Monday afternoon.


Mr Kjell Bøen, head of sounding rocket and balloon dept, ARR.
Mr Kolbjørn Dahle, head of marketing and communications dept, ARR.

Published: 15. December 2008 by: Trond Abrahamsen

ICI-2 Successful

ICI-2 lifts-off from Ny-Ålesund. Photo: Preben Hansen, ARR.

The ICI-2 sounding rocket campaign from Svalbard, Norway, is a success as the rocket intersected a high density auroral density patch.

Principal investigator Professor Jøran Moen is very pleased with the outcome of the rocket flight.

– It looks very promising. This was a rather complex payload with nose cone splitting, release of doors, 3 boom deployment systems. All instruments seem to have worked well during flight, and the enthusiasm about a successful launch increases the more we look into it, although we have only preliminary results so far.

The professor was located in the Kjell Henriksen Observatory outside Longyearbyen while the ICI-2 rocket launched from Ny-Ålesund. Primary objective for ICI-2 was to o investigate structuring of electron clouds that form in association with daytime auroras. After formation these electron clouds go unstable and they give rise to scattering of HF radio signals and scintillation on satellite signals.

– It seems that we may have met the primary science objective, professor Moen explains. – To measure the finest thinkable electron plasma structures in a high density auroral patch that pinched off from the dayside cusp auroral region.

– This mission will hopefully bring us to a better understanding about the mechanism(s) that drives plasma unstable.

Head of ARR Sounding rocket and balloon division, Mr Kjell Bøen, is all smiles.
– The vehicle lifted off December 5th, at 10:35:10 UT and performed nominally with an apogee of 330 kilometers. All onboard systems functioned flawlessly through the entire flight.

Telemetry data was downloaded with the mobile 10-foot antenna at Ny-Ålesund, and with the 20-foot antenna at Andøya.

– The HotPay2-mission proved we could design and build an advanced sounding rocket. With ICI-2 we´ve proven it is indeed a reliable platform.

Professor Moen finishes off from Svalbard:

– We are very grateful to ARR, for the professional payload services delivered, including payload design, integration, tests, and finally launch. It has been 3 years of pleasure to work with them. The ICI-2 demonstrates that ARR can skillfully deliver a total package of payload services, and the scientists only take care of preparing their own instruments and tell when science launch conditions are appropriate for launch. This is a new era in Norwegian rocketry I would say, which will lower the costs and increase the effectiveness and thereby increase the chances to revive a Norwegian sounding rocket program.

Published: 27. September 2008 by: Trond Abrahamsen

EARLINET- General Assembly 2008

28th of September – 1st of October at Andøya Rocket Range

Andøya Rocket Range houses the General Assembly of the European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET), with participation of 52 scientists from 13 countries. EARLINET was established in 2000 as a research project supported by the European Commision to study the impact of aerosols on climate and life on earth. On March 2006 the 5 years EC Infrastructure Project EARLINET-ASOS (Advanced Sustainable Observation System) started on the base of the EARLINET network with the main goal to enhance the operation of the network.

ALOMAR Observatory at Andøya is one of 25 stations distributed over most of Europe, using advanced laser remote sensing to directly measure the vertical distribution of aerosols, supported by a suite of more conventional observations.

The effect of aerosols on the global climate system is one of the major uncertainties of present climate predictions. They play a major role in atmospheric chemistry and hence affect the concentrations of other potentially harmful atmospheric constituents, e.g. ozone. They are an important controlling factor for the radiation budget, in particular in the UV-B part of the spectrum. At ground level, they can be harmful, even toxic, to man, animals, and plants. Because of these adverse effects that aerosols can have on human life, it is necessary to achieve an advanced understanding of the processes that generate, redistribute, and remove aerosols in the atmosphere.

Published: 22. June 2008 by: Trond Abrahamsen

DUSTER in the Stratosphere

The DUSTER balloon is currently on a trajectory towards Greenland after launch from Svalbard, early Saturday morning.

The DUSTER balloon payload aims to investigate the aerosol content in the stratosphere, looking for microscopic dust particles. Teams from ARR, ASI, University of Rome – La Sapienza and the University of Parthenope have been working a couple of weeks in Longyearbyen, Svalbard for this launch, and are now monitoring the balloons trajectory.

”It was a beautiful and calm launch, with nice, sunny weather,” says ARR campaign manager Petter Dragøy. “Launch occured at 06:05 UT, 21 June 2008, and DUSTER quickly gained altitude. At the moment it´s southwest of Longyearbyen, travelling at 15 meters per second.”

”Fully inflated, the DUSTER balloon should be around 40 meters in diameter, and possible to detect when it´s clear skies.” ASI campaign manager, Steven Peterzen explains. “Now it´s up to the stratospheric winds to take it over the ocean to Greenland where we´ll bring it down and recover the crucial payload.”

Principal investigator, Prof. Pasquale Palombo, is excited. “We are looking for dust particles in the atmosphere, dust coming from pollution, vulcanoes, interplanetary space and so on. Then we´ll be able to find the chemical composition of the stratosphere and how the particles affect global climate.”

DUSTER is a project with international participation: University of Parthenope (Italy), Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte (Italy), CNRS (France), University of New Mexico (USA) and University of New York (USA).


Mr Petter Dragøy, ARR project manager

Published: 5. May 2008 by: Trond Abrahamsen

New Launcher Installed at Svalbard

ARR has installed a new sounding rocket launcher in the launcher building at Ny-Aalesund, Norway.

A team from ARR travelled to Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, and installed a new sounding rocket launcher in the existing launcher building, replacing the DLR-launcher.

– The installation went smoothly, says Mr Hans-Arne Eilertsen, Launch Area Manager. – The launcher will be ready to use after we´ve completed some initial calibration and fine-tuning.

– The new, transportable, launcher is capable of lifting 5.4 metric tonnes on 9.9 meters, which translates roughly to a Black Brant X or equivalent.

The first vehicle to lift-off from the new launcher will be the ICI-2 sounding rocket in December this year.


Mr Kjell Bøen, Head of Sounding rocket and balloon division, ARR.

Published: 26. February 2008 by: Trond Abrahamsen

Chasing Bad Weather

The IPY Thorpex project looks to improve weather forecasting in the Arctic region. Using the research aircraft DLR Falcon, scientists take to the air – hoping for bad weather.

Weather during the Arctic winter can be harsh. Extremely cold wind over open ocean can lead to weather features such as Arctic fronts, polar low (a small-scale, short-lived atmospheric low pressure system) and terrain induced disturbances. These are not easily detected due to their relatively small scale.

Polar orbiting satellites cover the Arctic region well, but in-situ measurements are needed to better exploit the satellite data. IPY-Thorpex (THe Observing System Research and Predictability EXperiment) use a research aircraft (operating from Andøya), two UAVs (operating from Svalbard) and two coast guard vessel (releasing meteorological balloons) to gather in-situ data for three weeks. In addition, balloons will be released by researchers at Bear Island (Norway) and by Russian colleagues from Russian territory.

Using ARR as their home base, DLR Falcon will fly fifteen missions, with a total of sixty flight hours, carrying a scientist, two lidars and a number of drop probes. The Falcon is very robust, and built to make measurements inside thunderstorms. It can even fly thirty meters behind the turbines of a passenger jet.

Principal investigator is Jón Egill Kristjánsson from the University of Oslo. Other organisations involved in the campaign is the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research and the University of Bergen.

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Published: 6. February 2008 by: Trond Abrahamsen

HotPay2 Soars into the Skies Above Andøya

The HotPay2 principal investigator, Prof. John Plane from University of Leeds is smiling. The HotPay2 sounding rocket has just completed its long anticipated spaceflight. “On behalf of the HotPay2 science team I must thank ARR for their friendly support and professionalism.”

The payload carried nine instrument types involving scientific groups from University of Leeds (UK), Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory (Finland), MISU (Sweden), Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Bulgaria), Slovak Academy of Sciences (Slovakia), Graz University of Technology (Austria), Dartmouth College (USA), CETP (France) and LPCE (France).

For the scientific instruments onboard, 7 out of 9 performed nominally and gave good data for further scientific studies.

“We launched at January 31, 20:14:00, local time, after a couple of days with bad weather.” Manager of ARR Payload Services, Mr. Kenneth Hauglund explains. “The payload systems performed outstanding and the rocket reached an altitude of about 380 kilometers.”

Earth was inside a solar wind stream at the time of lift-off, and the vehicle flew into an auroral arc. The ALOMAR observatory was online with a lidar beam, pointing into the flight trajectory of HotPay2. “It was really cool, seeing the lidar beam kind of pointing the direction for the launch vehicle,” Mr Hauglund says. “But seriously, it´s the combined effort from ground based instruments and rocketborne instruments which will help scientists decipher the whole picture in these types of experiments.”

HotPay2 was financed by the European Union 6th Framework Program, and the mission finalized the so-called eARI project involving EU scientific participation on the ALOMAR observatory and 2 sounding rockets.

The HotPay2 mission is a major milestone for the ARR Payload Services – giving momentum to a more comprehensive program in the near future.

The next mission served by ARR Payload Services is the ICI-2 sounding rocket, set for launch from Svalbard in December this year, led by Principal Investigator Prof. Jøran Moen from University of Oslo.


Mr Kolbjørn Dahle, Manager, Marketing- and Communications dept., ARR.

Published: 18. January 2008 by: Trond Abrahamsen

SCIFER-2 Launched

The SCIFER-2 sounding rocket lifted-off from ARR today, in a textbook launch.

Sounding of the Cusp Ion Fountain Energization Region, SCIFER, is a research project lead by Prof. Paul M. Kintner from Cornell University, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, USA.

The SCIFER-2 launch vehicle, a Black Brant XII, lifted off at 08:30, local time, and reached an apogee of about 1460 km, 7 km higher than SCIFER-1 which had the previous altitude record from ARR. Prof. Kintner reports very good science conditions at Svalbard during flight, and all instruments functioned nominally. “The science conditions were spectacular,” says the professor from his base at the new Kjell Henriksen Observatory outside Longyearbyen, Svalbard. “We had several auroral arcs, ion outflow measured by the EISCAT Svalbard Radar and so on. This flight is equally successful to the SCIFER-1 which was launched in 1995. We are all very, very happy.”

“From the operational standpoint, this was another textbook launch, ” says Mr Kjell Bøen, Head of Sounding Rocket and Balloon Division at ARR. “All systems functioned nominally and we had good telemetry throughout the flight.” A total number of 7 telemetry antennas tracked and received good data from the payload, 5 antennas at Andøya and two at the KSAT Svalbard Satellite Station.

The flight was observable from most of northern Norway, creating a fantastic lightshow as it climed further and further up. Several local news papers reported UFO sightings, meteor sightings and so on. “Most of northern Norway had clear skies during launch, and the exhaust from the upper stages was illuminated by the sun.” Mr Bøen explains.

“We want to send our appreciation to the local fishermen around Andøya, who had to evacuate the second stage impact area prior to launch. If they had not done so, the rocket could have missed the critical science conditions.” Mr Bøen finishes.


Mr Kjell Bøen, Head of Sounding Rocket and Balloon Division, ARR.
Mr Kolbjørn Dahle, Head of Marketing and Communication Dept. ARR.

Published: 15. December 2007 by: Trond Abrahamsen

TRICE a Success

ARR and NASA successfully launched two Black Brant XII in the TRICE sounding rocket campaign.

The TRICE (Twin Rocket Investigation of Cusp Electrodynamics) experiment is a study of the phenomenon of magnetic reconnection by making high-resolution measurements in a near-Earth space plasma environment. The experiment involved launching of two Black Brant XII vehicles from Andøya, Norway. The principal investigator is Dr. Craig Kletzing, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Iowa, USA.

TRICE “High” launched 10 December 2007 at 09:00:00 UT followed by TRICE “Low” at 09:02:00 UT. Preliminary analysis shows a nominal flight for both vehicles, with good science conditions.

This is the first time two Black Brant XII vehicles are flown at the same time.


Mr Odd Roger Enoksen, Managing Director, ARR.
Mr Kjell Bøen, Head of Sounding Rocket and Balloon Division, ARR.

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