Summary of Quantitative Interpretation of IMAGE Far Ultraviolet Auroral Data
Direct imaging of the magnetosphere by instruments on the IMAGE spacecraft is supplemented by simultaneous observations of the global aurora in three far ultraviolet (FUV) wavelength bands. The purpose of the multi-wavelength imaging is to study the global auroral particle and energy input from the magnetosphere into the atmosphere. This paper describes the method for quantitative interpretation of FUV measurements. The Wide-Band Imaging Camera (WIC) provides broad band ultraviolet images of the aurora with maximum spatial resolution by imaging the nitrogen lines and bands between 140 and 180 nm wavelength. The Spectrographic Imager (SI), a dual wavelength monochromatic instrument, images both Doppler-shifted Lyman-α emissions produced by precipitating protons, in the SI-12 channel and OI 135.6 nm emissions in the SI-13 channel. From the SI-12 Doppler shifted Lyman-α images it is possible to obtain the precipitating proton flux provided assumptions are made regarding the mean energy of the protons. Knowledge of the proton (flux and energy) component allows the calculation of the contribution produced by protons in the WIC and SI-13 instruments. Comparison of the corrected WIC and SI-13 signals provides a measure of the electron mean energy, which can then be used to determine the electron energy flux. To accomplish this, reliable emission modeling and instrument calibrations are required. In-flight calibration using early-type stars was used to validate the pre-flight laboratory calibrations and determine long-term trends in sensitivity. In general, very reasonable agreement is found between in-situ measurements and remote quantitative determinations.
KeywordsIMAGE Far Ultraviolet instrument FUV aurora quantitative proton electron flux and energy
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