1 April 2003 University of Virginia suborbital remote sensor array
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Abstract
An Orion sounding rocket will be launched from Wallops Flight Facility and will carry a University of Virginia payload to an altitude of 65.7 km to measure the distribution of methane in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and record images and quantitative measurements of the distribution of chlorophyll in the Metompkin Inlet, Virginia. This new payload launch will be UVa’s second launch as a result of a five-year undergraduate design project by a multi-disciplinary student group. As part of a new multi-year design course, undergraduate students designed, built, tested, and will participate in the launch of a suborbital platform from which atmospheric remote sensors and other scientific experiments can operate. The first launch included a simplified atmospheric measurement system intended to demonstrate full system operation and remote sensing capabilities during suborbital flight. The second and upcoming launch includes a methane GFCR system intended for upper atmospheric measurements, a photodiode/camera system intended for the remote sensing of chlorophyll distribution and concentration in the Metompkin Inlet due to confined animal runoff pollution. Two thermoelectrically cooled HgCdTe infrared detectors, with peak sensitivity at 3 mm, were designed to measure the methane distribution in the upper atmosphere, by having infrared radiation filtered through a methane cell and a nitrogen reference cell. A small camera with a green band-pass filter will be aligned with five photodiodes, each covered by a narrow bandpass filter that matches the filters in the SeaWiFS system, to provide cross-referencing for the remote sensing of the chlorophyll in the Metompkin Inlet and to enhance the chlorophyll distribution. This payload will serve as a platform for future atmospheric sensing experiments. Currently, the GFCR has been tested and calibrated, the chlorophyll measurement system is being calibrated, and the components and mounts are being gathered, calibrated, tested and fabricated. In the next few months, the payload will be integrated and the data reduction models will be constructed.
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Keith William Moored, Keith William Moored, Christina Viau Haden, Christina Viau Haden, William Clayton Nunnally, William Clayton Nunnally, Gabriel Laufer, Gabriel Laufer, } "University of Virginia suborbital remote sensor array", Proc. SPIE 5073, Thermosense XXV, (1 April 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.487349; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.487349
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