NRL Sensor Observes First Light

December 2, 2009
First light limb scan from the SSULI 002 instrument on DMSP F18. The x-axis represents wavelength, the y-axis is altitude and the color represents accumulated counts in 1 second. Source: Naval Research Laboratory

The Special Sensor Ultraviolet Limb Imager (SSULI) developed by NRL's Spacecraft Engineering Department and Space Science Division, launched October 18, 2009 on the U.S. Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F18 (flight 18) satellite, observed first light on December 1, 2009.

In a sample airglow profile (see figure above) the spectral emission features in the data are clean and show no anomalies.

"The SSULI team is very excited to continue with early orbit testing and begin the calibration and validation process with this instrument," said Andrew Nicholas, SSULI principal investigator, NRL Space Science Division.

Offering global observations, that yield near real-time altitude profiles of the ionosphere and neutral atmosphere, over an extended period of time, SSULI makes measurements from the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) to the far (FUV) over the wavelength range of 80 nanometers (nm) to 170 nm with 1.5 nm resolution.

SSULI data products, once calibrated and validated, will be used operationally at the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) as standalone operational data products and also as inputs into operational Weather models.

Provided by Naval Research Laboratory (news : web)

Explore further: NRL sensor to measure natural airglow in the upper atmosphere

Related Stories

NRL sensor to measure natural airglow in the upper atmosphere

November 6, 2006

The second of five Special Sensor Ultraviolet Limb Imager (SSULI) remote sensing instruments, developed by the Naval Research Laboratory, was launched on November 4, 2006 on board the DMSP F-17 satellite. SSULI is the first ...

First Solar Dynamic Observatory Instrument Arrives at Goddard

September 7, 2007

The University of Colorado at Boulder delivered the Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE), first of three Solar Dynamic Observatory instruments, to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. EVE will measure ...

Updated version of GAIM model goes operational

May 2, 2008

An updated version of the Global Assimilation of Ionospheric Measurements (GAIM) model went operational at the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) on February 22, 2008. The operational GAIM program has been under development ...

NRL sensor provides critical space weather observations

November 3, 2009

Launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., aboard an United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle, Oct. 18, 2009, the Special Sensor Ultraviolet Limb Imager (SSULI) developed by NRL's Space Science Division and Spacecraft ...

Recommended for you

NEOWISE identifies greenhouse gases in comets

November 24, 2015

After its launch in 2009, NASA's NEOWISE spacecraft observed 163 comets during the WISE/NEOWISE prime mission. This sample from the space telescope represents the largest infrared survey of comets to date. Data from the survey ...

Cool, dim dwarf star is magnetic powerhouse

November 19, 2015

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered that a dim, cool dwarf star is generating a surprisingly powerful magnetic field, one that rivals the most intense magnetic regions ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.