TRICE-2 mission led by Professor Craig Kletzing earns NASA grant

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Craig Kletzing
Craig Kletzing

A research team that includes University of Iowa Professor Craig Kletzing has won a $2.7 million NASA grant for its proposal, “Twin Rockets to Investigate Cusp Electrodynamics-2 (TRICE-2)”. University of Iowa is the lead institution for the proposal, and Kletzing is its Principal Investigator. Dartmouth College, University of California-Berkeley, Southwest Research Institute, and University of Colorado-Boulder are also participating.

The proposal is a re-flight of the Twin Rockets to Investigate Cusp Electrodynamics (TRICE) mission from 2007. Like the original mission, the re-flight mission will launch a pair of twin rockets, almost identically instrumented, from the Andoya Rocket Range into the Earth’s cusp regions during a period when optical and radar data indicate that ionospheric signatures of reconnection are present, according to the proposal.

Although the original mission was successful, scientific return was limited by some failure in the particle instruments—issues have since been rectified. A re-launch will provide new data on cusp ionosphere physics, and is particularly relevant in light of NASA’s upcoming MMS satellite mission on the microphysics of reconnection.

Kletzing is an F. Wendell Miller Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, part of the UI College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. He has been with the UI faculty since 1996.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.