24 October 2013 LOCUS: Low cost upper atmosphere sounder
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We present the results of an instrument concept study for a low cost terahertz sounder of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT). Recent advances in the development of Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) technology to be used for Local Oscillators (LOs) mean that it has now become viable for the first time to build compact, low weight heterodyne receivers in the terahertz (THz) frequency range [28]. Some of the most important atmospheric constituents of the MLT region, e.g. atomic oxygen (O) and the hydroxyl radical (OH), can only realistically be measured at THz frequencies. The technical challenges of THz remote sensing result in a large uncertainly of the global distribution of these species. Recent research indicates that the MLT region exhibits links to processes associated with climate change. From this follows a strong need to measure the composition and dynamic of the MLT region more accurately and more comprehensively.
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Daniel Gerber, Daniel Gerber, Bruce M. Swinyard, Bruce M. Swinyard, Brian N. Ellison, Brian N. Ellison, John M. C. Plane, John M. C. Plane, Wuhu Feng, Wuhu Feng, Nimal Navarathinam, Nimal Navarathinam, Stuart J. Eves, Stuart J. Eves, Rachel Bird, Rachel Bird, Edmund H. Linfield, Edmund H. Linfield, A. Giles Davies, A. Giles Davies, Steve Parkes, Steve Parkes, "LOCUS: Low cost upper atmosphere sounder", Proc. SPIE 8889, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XVII, 88891I (24 October 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2028675; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2028675

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