NNG12FA45C

Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON)

Operational support from:
NASA through a sub-contract from University of California at Berkeley
Jonathan J. Makela (PI), Farzad Kamalabadi (Co-I), Gary Swenson (Co-I)
Dec 2011-June 2017

Led by Dr. Thomas Immel of the University of California, Berkeley, and scheduled for launch in 2017, ICON will probe the extreme variability of Earth's ionosphere with in-situ and remote-sensing instruments from its orbit 550 kilometers (345 miles) above Earth. The ionosphere is the region at the edge of space where the sun ionizes the air to create constantly shifting streams and sheets of charged particles. Fluctuations in the ionosphere, which are a form of space weather, cause interference in signals from communications and global positioning satellites. Such space weather effects are deleterious to numerous electronic technologies on which modern society relies and as a result can have a significantly adverse economic impact on the nation.

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