Far ultraviolet imaging from the IMAGE spacecraft. 1. System design

Authors: Mende, S.B.1; Heetderks, H.1; Frey, H.U.1; Lampton, M.1; Geller, S.P.1; Habraken, S.2; Renotte, E.2; Jamar, C.2; Rochus, P.2; Spann, J.3; Fuselier, S.A.4; Gerard J.-C.5; Gladstone, R.6; Murphree, S.7; Cogger, L.7

Source: Space Science Reviews, Volume 91, Numbers 1-2, January 2000 , pp. 243-270(28)

Publisher: Springer

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Direct imaging of the magnetosphere by the IMAGE spacecraft will be supplemented by observation of the global aurora, the footprint of magnetospheric regions. To assure the simultaneity of these observations and the measurement of the magnetospheric background neutral gas density, the IMAGE satellite instrument complement includes three Far Ultraviolet (FUV) instruments. In the wavelength region 120-190 nm, a downward-viewing auroral imager is only minimally contaminated by sunlight, scattered from clouds and ground, and radiance of the aurora observed in a nadir viewing geometry can be observed in the presence of the high-latitude dayglow. The Wideband Imaging Camera (WIC) will provide broad band ultraviolet images of the aurora for maximum spatial and temporal resolution by imaging the LBH N_2 bands of the aurora. The Spectrographic Imager (SI), a monochromatic imager, will image different types of aurora, filtered by wavelength. By measuring the Doppler-shifted Ly-α, the proton-induced component of the aurora will be imaged separately. Finally, the GEO instrument will observe the distribution of the geocoronal emission, which is a measure of the neutral background density source for charge exchange in the magnetosphere. The FUV instrument complement looks radially outward from the rotating IMAGE satellite and, therefore, it spends only a short time observing the aurora and the Earth during each spin. Detailed descriptions of the WIC, SI, GEO, and their individual performance validations are discussed in companion papers. This paper summarizes the system requirements and system design approach taken to satisfy the science requirements. One primary requirement is to maximize photon collection efficiency and use efficiently the short time available for exposures. The FUV auroral imagers WIC and SI both have wide fields of view and take data continuously as the auroral region proceeds through the field of view. To minimize data volume, multiple images are taken and electronically co-added by suitably shifting each image to compensate for the spacecraft rotation. In order to minimize resolution loss, the images have to be distortion-corrected in real time for both WIC and SI prior to co-adding. The distortion correction is accomplished using high speed look up tables that are pre-generated by least square fitting to polynomial functions by the on-orbit processor. The instruments were calibrated individually while on stationery platforms, mostly in vacuum chambers as described in the companion papers. Extensive ground-based testing was performed with visible and near UV simulators mounted on a rotating platform to estimate their on-orbit performance. The predicted instrument system performance is summarized and some of the preliminary data formats are shown.

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, U.S.A. 2: Centre Spatiale de Liège, Liège, Belgium B-4031 3: George C. Marshall Spaceflight Center, Huntsville, AL 35812, U.S.A. 4: Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center, Palo Alto, CA 94304, U.S.A. 5: University of Liège, Liège, B-4000 Belgium 6: Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX 78228, U.S.A. 7: University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada AB T2N 1N4

Publication date: January 1, 2000


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