Ludger Scherliess

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The Optical Profiling of the Atmospheric Limb (OPAL) mission is funded by NSF to gather global thermosphere temperatures. OPAL will be able to resolve the temperature profiles through observing day-time emissions of O2 A-band (~760nm) emissions. This is done by using integrated line-of-sight measurements of the A-band through a tangential view of the atmosphere down to 90km and up to 140 km. The OPAL instrument is on a 3U CubeSatellite (30cm×10cm×10cm) and is expected to follow the International Space Station (ISS) orbit (~400km altitude). Having an accurate model of the OPAL CubeSatellite’s position and the attitude of its optical system are crucial in checking the instruments’ ability to detect space weather signatures in the temperature data (i.e. solar flares and gravity waves). Using Matlab and Analysis Graphics Inc.’s (AGI) System Tool Kit (STK) for mission modeling and analysis, we modeled position of OPAL and its line of sight, and this information in the future will be combined with other information about the data interpretation and collection.

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