18 August 2005 Low-cost multi-band ground-based imaging of the aurora
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Modern auroral research uses a variety of optical instruments ranging from photometers to spectral imagers. We report our results in developing an inexpensive auroral imager, which captures true-colour images using four wide-band channels. While not replacing dedicated highly sensitive cameras with filter wheels and narrow bandpass filters, the advantages of capturing the colour should not be underestimated. The colour not only provides more information about the physical processes in the ionosphere but also enhances both manual and automated image processing due to the discriminating power of colour information. We have operated our auroral imager RAINBOW in Athabasca, Alberta, Canada for over a year. RAINBOW can acquire images every ten seconds and operate even in moonlit conditions. A clever design using inexpensive optical components provides a field-of-view of approximately 150 degrees, and an external shutter provides protection from direct sunlight. We discuss the issues related to imager hardware and colour calibration. Future applications are also highlighted.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Mikko T. Syrjasuo, Mikko T. Syrjasuo, Brian J. Jackel, Brian J. Jackel, Eric F. Donovan, Eric F. Donovan, Trond S. Trondsen, Trond S. Trondsen, Mike Greffen, Mike Greffen, } "Low-cost multi-band ground-based imaging of the aurora", Proc. SPIE 5901, Solar Physics and Space Weather Instrumentation, 59010F (18 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.617801; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.617801


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