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2023-05-15 Mary Knapp (MIT Haystack Observatory)

AERO-VISTA: mapping the Earth’s auroral radio emissions

Abstract: AERO-VISTA is a twin CubeSat space mission that will use a novel vector sensor antenna along with traditional interferometry methods to map the Earth’s radio auroral emissions – auroral roar, hiss, mid-frequency bursts, and auroral kilometric emission.  AERO-VISTA will observe the band from 400 kHz to 5 MHz in order to localize the source of these auroral radio emission types and answer fundamental questions about the plasma conditions and locations of the emission regions as well as propagation paths from them.  AERO-VISTA will use a deployable vector sensor (4 m by 2 m) and compact software-defined radio to make these measurements.  AERO-VISTA also carries a student instrument that will image the deployable antenna and provide context measurements of the Earth’s magnetic field.  In this talk, we will describe AERO-VISTA’s science questions, show our progress in developing and testing the science instruments, and discuss follow-ons and other science applications for AERO-VISTA, including eventually detecting auroral radio emission from exoplanets.