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RH300 sounding rocket to be launched in Kerala

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A sounding rocket being launched. Photo: VSSC

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM (PTI): The RH300 sounding rocket, developed by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) as part of a study to enrich available atmospheric data, would be launched from Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS), in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday.

This will be the 21st launch of RH300 sounding rocket, a release from VSSC said Thursday.

The launch, scheduled at 1915 hrs Friday, is part of a study undertaken by VSSC under the Sounding Rocket Experiment (SOUREX) programme, which utilises the RH-300 MKII sounding rocket to study the Equatorial E and lower ionosphere regions of the atmosphere, it said.

The study will enrich available atmospheric data and refine the models used for tropical weather prediction, it added.

The skies of state capital and nearby areas will witness a spectacular display of a long trail of interleaved pattern of white and blue light due to chemi-luminescence, a resultant of the experiment.

Photographic capturing of the trail is arranged from four different stations in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli, the release said.

The objective of the experiment is to measure neutral wind in the dynamo region (80-120 km) of equatorial ionosphere using the indigenously developed Electron Density and Neutral Wind Probe (ENWi) and perform cross-validation using an independent Tri Methyl Aluminium (TMA) release technique.

Atmospheric studies with TMA were done in the 60's utilizing sounding rockets of foreign countries and the first launch was on May 2, 1965 using a Centaure rocket.

After a long gap, the TMA experiment is now being attempted with indigenously made payload and rocket.

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