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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 48, Iss. 25 — Sep. 1, 2009
  • pp: 4814–4825

High precision refraction measurements by solar imaging during occultation: results from SOFIE

Larry Gordley, John Burton, Benjamin T. Marshall, Martin McHugh, Lance Deaver, Joel Nelsen, James M. Russell, and Scott Bailey  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 48, Issue 25, pp. 4814-4825 (2009)

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A new method for measuring atmospheric refraction angles is presented, with in-orbit measurements demonstrating a precision of ± 0.02   arcsec ( ± 0.1 μrad ). Key advantages of the method are the following: (1) Simultaneous observation of two celestial points during occultation (i.e., top and bottom edges of the solar image) eliminates error from instrument attitude uncertainty. (2) The refraction angle is primarily a normalized difference measurement, causing only scale error, not absolute error. (3) A large number of detector pixels are used in the edge location by fitting to a known edge shape. The resulting refraction angle measurements allow temperature sounding up to the lower mesosphere.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.5710) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Refraction
(280.4788) Remote sensing and sensors : Optical sensing and sensors
(280.4991) Remote sensing and sensors : Passive remote sensing
(280.5715) Remote sensing and sensors : Refractivity profiles
(040.6808) Detectors : Thermal (uncooled) IR detectors, arrays and imaging

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

Original Manuscript: April 13, 2009
Revised Manuscript: August 5, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: August 7, 2009
Published: August 20, 2009

Larry Gordley, John Burton, Benjamin T. Marshall, Martin McHugh, Lance Deaver, Joel Nelsen, James M. Russell, and Scott Bailey, "High precision refraction measurements by solar imaging during occultation: results from SOFIE," Appl. Opt. 48, 4814-4825 (2009)

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