Ionospheric imaging using merged ultraviolet airglow and radio occultation data

<p>The Limb-imaging Ionospheric and Thermospheric Extreme-ultraviolet Spectrograph (LITES) and GPS Radio Occultation and Ultraviolet Photometry-Colocated (GROUP-C) experiments are being considered for flight aboard the Space Test Program Houston 5 (STP-H5) experiment pallet to the International Space Station (ISS). LITES is a compact imaging spectrograph that makes one-dimensional images of atmospheric and ionospheric ultraviolet (60-140 nm) airglow above the limb of the Earth. The LITES optical design is advantageous in that it uses a toroidal grating as its lone optical surface to create these high-sensitivity images without the need for any moving parts. GROUP-C consists of two instruments: a nadir-viewing ultraviolet photometer that measures nighttime ionospheric airglow at 135.6 nm with unprecedented sensitivity, and a GPS receiver that measures ionospheric electron content and scintillation with the assistance of a novel antenna array designed for multipath mitigation. By flying together, these two experiments form an ionospheric observatory aboard the ISS that will provide new capability to study low- and mid-latitude ionospheric structures on a global scale. This paper presents the design and implementation of the LITES and GROUP-C experiments on the STP-H5 payload that will combine for the first time high-sensitivity in-track photometry with vertical spectrographic imagery of ionospheric airglow to create high-fidelity images of ionospheric structures. The addition of the GPS radio occultation measurement provides the unique opportunity to constrain, as well as cross-validate, the merged airglow measurements. \textcopyright (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.</p>
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San Diego, California, United States