The Daedalus mission will complement existing and planned measurement systems and serve to recent scientific activities.

The Daedalus mission will focus on providing a full range of local in-situ measurements of the thermosphere-ionosphere. This will be a highly complementary addition to other existing as well as planned observing capabilities. Links to selected observing systems and scientific initiatives that we expect will be extremely valuable to refer to in preparation of and in combination with Daedalus are listed below.

Current thermosphere-ionosphere satellite missions

  • ESA Swarm - ESA's Earth Explorer 5 mission is a constellation of 3 satellites in circular polar orbits at 450-515 km altitude, making highly accurate measurements of Earth's magnetic field and the upper thermosphere-ionosphere since 2013.
  • NASA GOLD - Global Observations of the Limb and Disk. Remote sensing of airglow in the thermosphere-ionosphere from a hosted payload on a commercial geostationary communications satellite above South America.
  • NASA ICON - Ionospheric Connection Explorer - Remote sensing and in-situ observations from within the equatorial ionospheric F-region.

Future thermosphere-ionosphere satellite mission concepts

Ground-based remote-sensing of the thermosphere-ionosphere

  • EISCAT and EISCAT-3D - European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association, Scandinavian radar measurements of the ionosphere and upper atmosphere
  • SuperDARN - Super Dual Aurora Radar Network, a worldwide network of radars for observing the mid- to high-latitude ionosphere.
  • Fabry-Perot interferometers (FPIs) and scanning Doppler imagers (SDIs) - Neutral temperature and wind measurements obtained from the Doppler shift of upper atmospheric airglow.

Sounding rocket campaigns

Current and future space weather and space physics missions

  • ARASE(ERG) - The mission is designed for the direct observation of the process by which the high energy electrons that exist in the Van Allen belt are generated. The satellite orbits at an 440/32,000km elliptical orbit with an orbit inclination of 32°.
  • AMPERE - The magnetometers on the 66-satellite Iridium constellation are being utilised to provide a high-cadence 2D map of the current system that connects the magnetosphere to the ionosphere. Daedalus will investigate in detail how and where these currents close in the ionosphere.
  • ACE, DSCOVR and SWFM - This series of spacecraft provides data on the conditions of the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field from the Sun-Earth L1-point, just upstream of the Earth's magnetosphere. These conditions are driving most of the variability within the magnetosphere and thermosphere-ionosphere.

Scientific activities

  • ISSI International Team on Exploring the Low Latitude Valley Region (LLVR) - The LLVR extends from the peak altitude of the daytime E-region electron density profile to the bottomside F-region, typically covering the 110 to 200 km altitudes. It is the effective boundary between terrestrial and space weather domains and is important for shaping the entire ionosphere.
  • SOLARIS-HEPPA - SOLARIS-HEPPA was created to clarify the effects of solar influence on climate with special focus on the importance of middle atmosphere chemical and dynamical processes. It includes studies on the "top-down" solar UV and the "bottom-up" Total Solar Irradiance mechanisms, as well as on the impact of high-energy particles.