The Balloon Array for RBSP Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL)
BARREL is a multiple-balloon investigation designed to study electron losses from Earth’s Radiation Belts. Selected as a NASA Living with a Star Mission of Opportunity, BARREL augments the Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission by providing measurements of relativistic electron precipitation with a pair of Antarctic balloon campaigns that will be conducted during the Austral summers (January-February) of 2013 and 2014. During each campaign, a total of 20 small (∼20 kg) stratospheric balloons will be successively launched to maintain an array of ∼5 payloads spread across ∼6 hours of magnetic local time in the region that magnetically maps to the radiation belts. Each balloon carries an X-ray spectrometer to measure the bremsstrahlung X-rays produced by precipitating relativistic electrons as they collide with neutrals in the atmosphere, and a DC magnetometer to measure ULF-timescale variations of the magnetic field. BARREL will provide the first balloon measurements of relativistic electron precipitation while comprehensive in situ measurements of both plasma waves and energetic particles are available, and will characterize the spatial scale of precipitation at relativistic energies. All data and analysis software will be made freely available to the scientific community.
Authors: Millan, R. M., McCarthy, M. P., Sample, J. G., Smith, D. M., Thompson, L. D., McGaw, D. G., Woodger, L. A., Hewitt, J. G., Comess, M. D., Yando, K. B., Liang, A. X., Anderson, B. A., Knezek, N. R., Rexroad, W. Z., Scheiman, J. M., Bowers, G. S., Halford, A. J., Collier, A. B., Clilverd, M. A., Lin, R. P., Hudson, M. K.