This presentation introduces a High Altitude Thermal Sensor (HATS) that has the potential to resolve the thermal structure of the upper atmosphere (cloud top to 100km) with both horizontal and vertical resolution of 5-7 km or better. This would allow the complete characterization of the wave structures that carry weather signature from the underlying atmosphere. Using a novel gas correlation technique, an extremely high-resolution spectral scan is accomplished by measuring a Doppler modulated signal as the atmospheric thermal scene passes through the HATS 2D FOV. This high spectral resolution, difficult to impossible to achieve with any other passive technique, enables the separation of radiation emanating at high altitudes from that emanating at low altitudes. A principal component analysis of these modulation signals then exposes the complete thermal structure of the upper atmosphere. We show that nadir sounding from low earth orbit, using various branches of CO2 emission in the 17 to 15 micron region, with sufficient spectral resolution and spectral measurement range, can distinguish thermal energy that peaks at various altitudes. By observing the up-welling atmospheric emission through a low pressure (Doppler broadened) gas cell, as the scene passes through our FOV, a modulation signal is created as the atmospheric emission lines are shifted through the spectral position of the gas cell absorption lines. The modulation signal is shown to be highly correlated to the emission coming from the spectral location of the gas cell lines relative to the atmospheric emission lines. This effectively produces a scan of the atmospheric emission with a Doppler line resolution. Similar to thermal sounding of the troposphere, a principal component analysis of the modulation signal can be used to produce an altitude resolved profile, given a reasonable a priori temperature profile. It is then shown that with the addition of a limb observation with one CO2 broadband channel (similar to methods employed with sensors like LIMS on Nimbus 7, HIRDLS on Aura, and SABER on TIMED), a limb temperature profile can be retrieved and used as the a priori profile, nearly eliminating uncertainty due to a priori inaccuracy. Feasibility studies and proposed instrument designs are presented. A tutorial for a similar technique proposed for measuring winds and temperature with limb observations can be found at http://www.gats-inc.com/future_missions.html
Larry Gordley, Benjamin T. Marshall, and Richard L. Lachance, "HATS (High Altitude Thermal Sounder): a passive sensor solution to 3D high-resolution mapping of upper atmosphere dynamics (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10000, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XX, 100001D (Presented at SPIE Remote Sensing: September 28, 2016; Published: 14 December 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2242923.5229392935001.
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