Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Proceedings of SPIE

Issue

6297

Publication Date

1-1-2006

DOI

10.1117/12.681164

Abstract

Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL), in partnership with GATS, Inc., designed and built an instrument to conduct the Solar Occultation for Ice Experiment (SOFIE). SOFIE is the primary infrared sensor in the NASA Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) instrument suite. AIM’s mission is to study polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs). SOFIE will make measurements in 16 separate spectral bands, arranged in eight pairs between 0.29 and 5.3 μm. Each band pair will provide differential absorption limb-path transmission profiles for an atmospheric component of interest, by observing the sun through the limb of the atmosphere during solar occultation as AIM orbits Earth. A pointing mirror and imaging sun sensor coaligned with the detectors are used to track the sun during occultation events and maintain stable alignment of the sun on the detectors. Ground calibration experiments were performed to measure SOFIE end-to-end relative spectral response, nonlinearity, and spatial characteristics. SDL’s multifunction infrared calibrator #1 (MIC1) was used to present sources to the instrument for calibration. Relative spectral response (RSR) measurements were performed using a step-scan Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS). Out-of-band RSR was measured to approximately 0.01% of in-band peak response using the cascaded filter Fourier transform spectrometer (CFFTS) method. Linearity calibration was performed using a calcium fluoride attenuator in combination with a 3000K blackbody. Spatial characterization was accomplished using a point source and the MIC1 pointing mirror. SOFIE sun sensor tracking algorithms were verified using a heliostat and relay mirrors to observe the sun from the ground. These techniques are described in detail, and resulting SOFIE performance parameters are presented.

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