Thermospheric Composition and Solar EUV Flux From the Global-Scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) Mission

Observations of far-ultraviolet (FUV) dayglow by the Global-scale Observations of Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission provide a new opportunity to monitor relative composition changes in the upper atmosphere as well as solar extreme ultraviolet (EUV) variability. Relative composition changes are quantified by ΣO/N2, the column density ratio of atomic oxygen to molecular nitrogen, while QEUV provides a measure of the solar EUV energy flux from 1 to 45 nm into the upper atmosphere. This spectral range provides the ionizing radiation which ultimately results in FUV airglow emission produced by photodissociation and photoelectron impact. The quantities ΣO/N2 and QEUV are derived from GOLD FUV observations through lookup tables that are constructed using a first-principles photoelectron transport model. The two FUV emissions used are O I 135.6 nm and the N2 Lyman-Birge-Hopfield (LBH) bands. We present an overview of the theoretical basis for the algorithms and practical considerations for application to GOLD data. The effects of uncertainties in electron impact cross sections, off-nadir viewing, and instrument artifacts are reviewed. We also discuss GOLD Level 1C DAY, Level 2 data products ON2 and QEUV, and present representative samples of each.
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Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
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