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The Auroral Large Imaging System: design, operation and scientific results
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Space Science.
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Auroral Large Imaging System (ALIS) was proposed in 1989 by Åke Steen as a joint Scandinavian ground-based nework of automated auroral imaging stations. The primary scientic objective was in the field of auroral physics, but it was soon realised that ALIS could be used in other fields, for example, studies of Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSC), meteors, as well as other atmospheric phenomena.

This report describes the design, operation and scientic results from a Swedish prototype of ALIS consisting of six unmanned remote-controlled stations located in a grid of about 50 km in northern Sweden. Each station is equipped with a sensitive high-resolution (1024 x 1024 pixels) unintensified monochromatic CCDimager. A six-position filter-wheel for narrow-band interference filters facilitates absolute spectroscopic measurements of, for example, auroral and airglow emissions. Overlapping fields-of-view resulting from the station baseline of about 50 km combined with the station field-of-view of 50° to 60°, enable triangulation as well as tomographic methods to be employed for obtaining altitude information of the observed phenomena.

ALIS was probably one of the first instruments to take advantage of unintensi- fied (i.e. no image-intensifier) scientific-grade CCDs as detectors for spectroscopic imaging studies with multiple stations of faint phenomena such as aurora, airglow, etc. This makes absolute calibration a task that is as important as it is dificult.

Although ALIS was primarily designed for auroral studies, the majority of the scientific results so far have, quite unexpectedly, been obtained from observations of HF pump-enhanced airglow (recently renamed Radio-Induced Aurora). ALIS made the first unambiguous observation of this phenomena at high-latitudes and the first tomography-like inversion of height profiles of the airglow regions. The scientific results so far include tomographic estimates of the auroral electron spectra, coordinated observations with satellite and radar, as well as studies of polar stratospheric clouds. An ALIS imager also participated in a joint project that produced the first ground-based daytime auroral images. Recently ALIS made spectroscopic observations of a Leonid meteor-trail and preliminary analysis indicates the possible detection of water in the Leonid.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. , 183 p.
IRF Scientific Report, ISSN 0284-1703 ; 279
Keyword [en]
Space and plasma physics, Aurora, Artificial airglow, HF-pump enhanced airglow, Multistation measurements, Polar Stratospheric clouds, Radio-Induced optical emissions, Spectroscopic imaging observations, Tomography
Keyword [sv]
Rymd- och plasmafysik
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
Research subject
Space Physics
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-36ISBN: 91-7305-405-4OAI: diva2:143237
Public defence
2003-06-13, Umeå, 09:15
Available from: 2003-06-13 Created: 2003-06-13Bibliographically approved

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