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The Tiny Ionospheric Photometer (TIP) instrument is a small, space-based, photometer that observes the ionosphere of the earth at 135.6 nanometers. The TIP instrument will primarily observe the airglow emission of the nighttime ionosphere caused by the radiative recombination of atomic oxygen. In addition, the TIP instrument will observe the auroral region boundaries from the emission caused by electron impact excitation. Six TIP instruments will be launched and flown simultaneously as each one is a payload carried aboard the Republic of China Satellite (ROCSAT-3) spacecraft as part of the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate (COSMIC) program a constellation built and operated by the country of Taiwan. Observations will be made from three orbital planes spaced 60 degrees apart each containing two TIP instruments. The instruments will be able to provide global coverage as well as system and data redundancy in their intended orbital configuration. Raw data from the TIP instruments will be used for the characterization of ionospheric electron density gradients to improve ionospheric modeling. Data from the TIP instruments can also be combined with the data from the other two payloads on board the spacecraft that are a radio beacon and a GPS occultation experiment to result in enhanced ionospheric measurements. The TIP instrument design had to solve several design challenges in order to achieve its intended science and mission requirements. In addition, the design had to address the operational constraints imposed by the spacecraft and the cost constraints of multiple units.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Phillip Cabrales Kalmanson, Scott A. Budzien, Clayton Coker, and Kenneth F. Dymond "The tiny ionospheric photometer instrument design and operation", Proc. SPIE 5660, Instruments, Science, and Methods for Geospace and Planetary Remote Sensing, (30 December 2004);


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