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Skylark rocket spins wire aerial in upper atmosphere



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FOR PRESS 944

SKYLARK ROCKET SPINS WIRE AERIAL IN UPPER ATMOSPHERE.

Statement by the Minister for Supply. Hon.Allen Fairhall·

A Skylark rocket fired from Woomera at 0040 local time

today carried out an unusual test in the Upper Atmosphere.

The Minister for Supply, Mr.Allen Fairhall said that the

rocket, which reached a height of 9Ϊ miles, was primarily

used to check the release a long wire aerial.

Mr.Fairhall said, "This, is a difficult problem when the

rocket is rotating in flight, but its solution is .neccessary

if experiments are to be conducted using low frequency radio

waves.

"The aerial, rel.-eased when the round is above the earth’s

atmosphere, is a flexible copper wire, less than one-tenth of

an inch thick.

"It has a bob-weight on the ends and is 60 feet across

30 feet on either side of the rocket.

"It remains attached to the 'round and comes back to earth

with it".

Mr.Fairhall said that the Skylark had also carried

instruments to measure Electron Densities in the Ionosphere

during darkness.

The firing was part of' the programme of Upper Atmosphere

research sponsored by the Royal Society and conducted, in .

Australia by the.Weapons Research-Establishment. : ■

Mr.Fairhall said, " Although the data on the Telemetry

records have not yet been analysed, a preliminary examination

has indicated that the objects of the trial were achieved."'

CANBERRA. '

3rd October. 1963