(Left) Airglow and aurora viewed from STS-39.  (Right) The gold-blanketed RAIDS experiment (top left) views the aft atmospheric The inset shows thermosphere temperatures and NRLMSISE-00 model predictions (red) derived from airglow. (Photos: NASA)
(Left) Airglow and aurora viewed from STS-39. (Right) The gold-blanketed RAIDS experiment (top left) views the aft atmospheric The inset shows thermosphere temperatures and NRLMSISE-00 model predictions (red) derived from airglow. (Photos: NASA)

Objectives

  • Measure the lower thermosphere temperature over altitudes 100-200 km to study the vertical temperature and compositional structure, the thermospheric response to solar UV variability, and the effect of tides and waves on the lower thermosphere.
  • Measure the O+ initial 83.4nm emission source in the lower F- region ionosphere separately from the multiple scattering 83.4nm source near the F-region peak to validate remote sensing of the dayside ionosphere.
  • Ultimate payoffs of these studies are improved atmospheric models for drag prediction and improved ionospheric forecasting

Approach

  • Use RAIDS suite of eight optical sensors to measure the Earth’s upper atmosphere and ionosphere from the International Space Station
    • Launched: Tanegashima Japan, Sept. 2009
    • Spectral Coverage: EUV-NIR (55-870 nm)
    • Altitude Coverage: 90-300 km
  • Passively monitor the naturally-occurring airglow emissions in response to space weather and lower atmosphere effects
  • Retrieve atmospheric composition, density, and temperature using state-of-the-art algorithms
  • Provide data to develop improved atmospheric models

Deliverable/Value/Accomplishment

  • First global-scale temperature measurements of Earth’s lower thermosphere at altitudes 120-165 km
  • First EUV measurements of low-altitude source of ionospheric emission using new 61.7 nm method
  • RAIDS was refurbished, tested, and delivered for flight in less than two years
  • Pathfinder experiment for atmospheric remote sensing from the ISS; First US experiment installed to Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility on ISS
  • Supported Calibration/Validation program of DMSP F-18 SSULI operational sensor