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Optical Engineering

Special Sensor Ultraviolet Limb Imager: an ionospheric and neutral density profiler for the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellites
Author(s): Robert P. McCoy; Kenneth F. Dymond; Gilbert G. Fritz; Stefan E. Thonnard; Robert R. Meier; Paul A. Regeon
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Paper Abstract

The Naval Research Laboratory is developing a series of far- and extreme-ultraviolet spectrographs (800 to 1700 Å) to measure altitude profiles of the ionospheric and thermospheric airglow from the U.S. Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program's Block 5D3 satellites. These spectrographs, which comprise the Special Sensor Ultraviolet Limb Imager (SSULI), use a near-Wadsworth optical configuration with a mechanical grid collimator, concave grating, and linear array detector. To image the limb, SSULI employs a rotating planar SiC mirror that sweeps the field of view perpendicular to the limb of the Earth. In the primary operating mode, the mirror sweeps the instrument field of view through 17 deg to view tangent heights from about 50 to 750 km. The SSULI detectors use microchannel plate intensification and wedge-and-strip decoding anodes to resolve 256 pixels in wavelength dispersion. The detector is windowless and uses an o-ring sealed door to protect the Csl photocathode from exposure prior to insertion in orbit. The altitude distributions of the airglow measured by the SSULI sensors will be used to infer the altitude distributions of electrons and neutral species. At night, electron densities will be determined by measurement of ion recombination nightglow. Daytime electron densities will be obtained from measurements of multiple resonant scattering of O+ 834-Å radiation produced primarily by photoionization excitation of atomic oxygen. Dayside neutral densities and temperatures will be inferred from the measurement of dayglow emissions from N2 and O produced by photoelectron impact excitation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 February 1994
PDF: 7 pages
Opt. Eng. 33(2) doi: 10.1117/12.155904
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 33, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Robert P. McCoy, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Kenneth F. Dymond, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Gilbert G. Fritz, U.S. Navy (United States)
Stefan E. Thonnard, U.S. Navy (United States)
Robert R. Meier, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Paul A. Regeon, Naval Research Lab. (United States)


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