Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NRL sensor to measure natural airglow in the upper atmosphere

08.11.2006
The second of five Special Sensor Ultraviolet Limb Imager (SSULI) remote sensing instruments, developed by the Naval Research Laboratory, was launched on November 4, 2006 on board the DMSP F-17 satellite.

SSULI is the first operational instrument of its kind and provides a new technique for remote sensing of the ionosphere and thermosphere from space. SSULI's measurements will provide scientific data supporting military and civil systems and will assist in predicting atmospheric drag effects on satellites and reentry vehicles.

A Boeing Delta 4 vehicle launched the Air Force's Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F-17 satellite and the SSULI sensor into low earth orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. SSULI will be powered on and start initial sensor checkout 30 days after launch.

"Characterization of the Earth's upper atmosphere and ionosphere is a critical goal for Department of Defense (DoD) and civilian users," said Andrew Nicholas, the SSULI Principal Investigator at NRL. He discussed the significance of the planned SSULI observations, saying, "The upper atmosphere affects many systems from global to tactical scales. These systems include GPS positioning, HF radio communications, satellite drag and orbit determination, and over-the-horizon radar. Both the neutral atmosphere and the ionosphere are driven by solar and geomagnetic forcing that occur on many timescales ranging from short (minute, hours) to medium (days to months) to long (years). Real-time global observations that yield altitude profiles of the ionosphere and neutral atmosphere, over an extended period of time (DMSP through the year 2016) will fill a critical need."

SSULI measures vertical profiles of the natural airglow radiation from atoms, molecules, and ions in the upper atmosphere and ionosphere from low earth orbit aboard the DMSP satellite. It builds on the successes of the NRL High Resolution Airglow/Aurora Spectroscopy (HIRAAS) experiment recently flown aboard the Space Test Program (STP) Advanced Research and Global Observations Satellite (ARGOS). SSULI makes measurements from the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) to the far ultraviolet (FUV) over the wavelength range of 80 nm to 170 nm with 2.4 nm resolution. SSULI also measures the electron density and neutral density profiles of the emitting atmospheric constituents. SSULI uses a spectrograph with a mirror capable of scanning below the satellite horizon from 10 degrees to 27 degrees every 90 seconds. These observations represent a vertical slice of the Earth's atmosphere from 750 km to 50 km in depth. Use of these data enables the development of new techniques for global ionospheric remote sensing and new models of global electron density variation.

Commenting on the practical application of the instrument, Mr. Ken Weldy, the Program Manager at NRL said, "Since natural atmospheric phenomena can disrupt day-to-day operations in the military use of space, we look forward to providing SSULI operational products to feed into the Global Assimilation of Ionospheric Measurements (GAIM) model. This will provide an important piece of the characterization of the Earth's upper atmosphere and ionosphere."

An extensive data processing suite was developed to support on-orbit observations and flight operations. It includes data reduction software using unique science algorithms developed at NRL, comprehensive data validation techniques, and graphical interfaces for the user community. After launch, the SSULI sensor, software, and derived atmospheric specification will under go an extensive validation. After validation, SSULI products will be distributed by the Air Force Weather Agency to support operational DoD systems.

NRL Public Affairs | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nrl.navy.mil/tira/Projects/ssuli/
http://dmsp.ngdc.noaa.gov/dmsp.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Early organic carbon got deep burial in mantle
25.04.2017 | Rice University

nachricht New atlas provides highest-resolution imagery of the Polar Regions seafloor
25.04.2017 | British Antarctic Survey

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>