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Title:844.6 nm photometer calibration for ground-based thermospheric oxygen density measurement
Author(s):Haken, Dawn
Contributor(s):Waldrop, Lara
Subject(s):atmospheric remote sensing
Abstract:Ground-based observations of spectral emission lines are commonly used to investigate conditions in the upper atmosphere, where in-situ measurements are generally infeasible. The atomic oxygen 844.6 nm emission line is a prominent feature in the midlatitude thermosphere. Energetic photoelectron flux, radiative recombination of O+ ions, and active radio-frequency heating are known to generate 844.6 nm emission. The 844.6 nm emission line has both well-understood photochemistry and line brightness sensitivity to oxygen density. These characteristics make it a favorable candidate for oxygen density measurement in the upper thermosphere. Previously, 844.6 nm observations have been made using high resolution spectrometry and tilting filter photomultiplier tubes. However, these efforts lacked spatial data as well as absolute intensity calibration required to derive oxygen density. This thesis presents the design, calibration, and first light observations of a novel imaging photometer. The photometer will be capable of on-sky brightness calibration during routine observations from a ground-based facility. Absolute calibration of emission line brightness will advance current understanding of O 844.6 nm emission excitation sources and allow for oxygen density measurement.
Issue Date:2019-05
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-06-13

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