The Electrojet Zeeman Imaging Explorer (EZIE) mission

When (times in MT)
Wed, Mar 29 2023, 2pm - 1 hour
Event Type
Rafael Luiz Araujo de Mesquita
Building & Room
CG1-2139 & Virtual

The Electrojet Zeeman Imaging Explorer (EZIE) is a NASA three-satellite mission with the overarching goal of characterizing the structure and dynamics of the auroral electrojets flowing at altitudes around 100 km in the auroral regions. Studying these currents provide insight into the Earth-Space electrical current circuit and provide strong observational constrains on the underlying magnetospheric processes. The two science objectives are determining which of the proposed substorm current wedge configurations is right and determining to what extent the auroral electrojet consist of wedgelet currents. This presentation will be an overview of the mission and description of the Zeeman technique used to infer the vector magnetic field. It will also feature the use of observing system simulation experiments, an end-to-end procedure to simulate the instrument measurements, to best demonstrate the success of the mission and the use of these simulations to produce observation strategies. Other possible data products from this mission will be discussed along with several collaboration opportunities.

About the Speaker

Dr Rafael Mesquita was born in Joao Pessoa, Brazil. He graduated from his undergraduate degree in 2013 at the Federal University of Campina Grande, where he held an undergraduate research fellowship, which focused on the meteor radar data processing and mesospheric winds research. In June 2013 he began his PhD at Clemson University (South Carolina). Dr Mesquita managed the southern instruments in the NATION network of Fabry-Perot interferometers (FPI) and worked in the lab designing new FPIs. In 2016 he began working in sounding rocket experiments to measure neutral wind profiles in the thermosphere, which he continued to do so until his graduation in May 2021. In July of the same year, he started as a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he is currently working as a senior professional staff. He leads a modeling study to characterize neutral wind shears globally using data assimilation and has worked in the development of rocket missions. Currently, his main task is to the development and manage the observing system simulation experiments in support for the EZIE mission, a mission to uncover decades old auroral electrojet questions.