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Observations of molecular oxygen are difficult to make in the Earth\textquoterights atmosphere between 140 and 200 km altitude. Perhaps the most accurate measurements to date have been obtained from satellite instruments that measure solar occultations of the limb. These do provide height-resolved O2 density measurements, but the nature of this technique is such that the temporal/spatial distribution of the measurements is uneven. Here a new space-based technique is described that utilizes two bright dayglow emissions, the (0,0) transition of the O2 atmospheric band and the O I (630 nm), to derive the height-resolved O2 density from 140 to 180 km. Data from the Remote Atmospheric and Ionospheric Detection System, which was placed on the International Space Station in late 2009, are used to illustrate this technique. The O2 density results for periods in May 2010 that were geomagnetically quiet and disturbed are compared to model predictions.
Published by: Geophysical Research Letters Published on: 01/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062355
The Global Ultraviolet Imager (GUVI) onboard the Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) satellite senses far ultraviolet emissions from O and N2 in the thermosphere. Transformation of far ultraviolet radiances measured on the Earth limb into O, N2, and O2 number densities and temperature quantifies these responses and demonstrates the value of simultaneous altitude and geographic information. Composition and temperature variations are available from 2002 to 2007. This paper documents the extraction of these data products from the limb emission rates. We present the characteristics of the GUVI limb observations, retrievals of thermospheric neutral composition and temperature from the forward model, and the dramatic changes of the thermosphere with the solar cycle and geomagnetic activity. We examine the solar extreme ultraviolet (EUV) irradiance magnitude and trends through comparison with simultaneous Solar Extreme EUV (SEE) measurements on TIMED and find the EUV irradiance inferred from GUVI averaged (2002\textendash2007) 30\% lower magnitude than SEE version 11 and varied less with solar activity. The smaller GUVI variability is not consistent with the view that lower solar EUV radiation during the past solar minimum is the cause of historically low thermospheric mass densities. Thermospheric O and N2 densities are lower than the NRLMSISE-00 model, but O2 is consistent. We list some lessons learned from the GUVI program along with several unresolved issues.
Published by: Earth and Space Science Published on: 01/2015
YEAR: 2015   DOI: 10.1002/2014EA000035
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