Comparison and Investigation of Solar Spectral Irradiance with Solar Aspect Monitor

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Virginia Tech

On-board the International Space Station (ISS), the Remote Atmospheric and Ionospheric Detection System (RAIDS) is a suite of limb-scanning monitors taking measurements from the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) to the near infrared (NIR). A single-scattering Rayleigh model is developed to eliminate the scattered brightness below 90 km and an inversion technique is applied on limb-scanned radiance profiles at 236.5 nm, NO (0,1) gamma band. The ISS orbit allows observations from 7:00 to 16:00 local hours over a one-month period from mid-June to mid-July of 2010 and observation of the local-time variation of NO abundance in the lower thermosphere is derived. The uniquely stable solar activity during 2010 allows the local time variation of NO to be observed with limited influence of solar variability. The comparison with a 1D model shows good agreement at altitude above 120 km, suggesting that most of the local time variation of NO is due to solar illumination, radiation, chemistry, and vertical diffusion.

Solar soft X-ray is the major driver of the variability observed in the ionospheric and thermospheric constituents at the equatorial region. Over the years measurements in these wavelengths are scarce and discrepancies lie among the existing data. The Solar Aspect Monitor (SAM) is a pinhole camera on the Extreme-ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE) flying on the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Every 10 seconds SAM projects the solar disk onto the CCD through a metallic filter designed to allow only solar photons shortward of 7 nm to pass. Contamination from energetic particles and out-of-band irradiance is, however, present. The broadband (BB) technique is developed for isolating the 0.1 to 7 nm integrated irradiance to produce broadband irradiance. The results agree with the zeroth-order product from the EUV SpectroPhotometer (ESP) with 25% regardless of solar activity level. Active regions in the solar atmosphere are tracked by the Apertural Progression Procedure for Light Estimate (APPLE). The photon event detection (PED) algorithm takes both BB and APPLE results as prior information to extract in-band photons. Applications of the PED products, including solar feature studies and spectral resolved irradiance, are demonstrated.

solar irradiance, soft X-ray, image processing, nitric oxide, thermosphere