Sensitive, Automated, and Web-Aware Airglow Instrumentation with Unified Analysis of Upper Atmosphere Dynamics

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 2:30 PM
Room C110 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
John Noto, Scientific Solutions, Inc., North Chelmsford, MA; and J. Riccobono, M. Migliozzi, S. Kapali, R. B. Kerr, G. Crowley, I. Azeem, R. Garcia, E. Robles, and S. Zhang

Results from recently upgraded optical interferometer systems installed at the Millstone Hill Observatory in Westford Massachusetts and the Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico are presented. These instruments autonomously and simultaneously observe optical emissions from thermospheric oxygen at two different altitudes.. These new dichroic instruments, which combine a telecentric imaging system with large aperture interferometers, have resulted in a dramatic increase in instrument sensitivity and data collection cadence. The instrument control system is modernized for fully robotic operation utilizing a client-server model. Thermospheric winds and temperatures are collected every clear night of any month, with wavelength calibration, camera diagnostics (bias, dark, and flatfield calibrations), and data-taking control available from any internet connection. Neutral , meridional and zonal wind vectors typically have 1 m/s statistical errors, and neutral temperatures have statistical errors <15K in three minute exposures. Operation and analysis algorithms operate in a fully automated manner, including calculation of geophysical parameters with a data quality index; and these data are made available each morning following observations. These capabilities will soon be extended to the Sondrestromfjord Observatory, providing reliable and chain-consistent neutral wind and temperature data to the space weather community. This unique Data as a Service (DaaS) methodology is being extended to a family of airglow monitoring instrumentation including all-sky imagers and meridional spectrographs.