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Earth Planets Space, Vol. 64 (No. 11), pp. 1033-1046, 2012
doi:10.5047/eps.2012.05.004

Development of low-cost sky-scanning Fabry-Perot interferometers for airglow and auroral studies

K. Shiokawa1, Y. Otsuka1, S. Oyama1, S. Nozawa1, M. Satoh1, Y. Katoh1, Y. Hamaguchi1, Y. Yamamoto1, and J. Meriwether2

1Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 464-8601, Japan
2Department of Physics and Astronomy, 208 Kinard Laboratory, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0978, U.S.A.

(Received October 27, 2011; Revised May 4, 2012; Accepted May 7, 2012; Online published November 26, 2012)

Abstract: We have developed new Fabry-Perot interferometers (FPIs) that are designed to measure thermospheric winds and temperatures as well as mesospheric winds through the airglow/aurora emissions at wavelengths of 630.0 nm and 557.7 nm, respectively. One FPI (FP01), possessing a large aperture etalon (diameter: 116 mm), was installed at the EISCAT Tromsø site in 2009. The other FPIs, using 70-mm diameter etalons, were installed in Thailand, Indonesia, and Australia in 2010-2011 (FP02-FP04) by the Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, and in Peru (Nazca and Jicamarca) and Alaska (Poker Flat) by Clemson University. The FPIs with 70-mm etalons are low-cost compact instruments, suitable for multipoint network observations. All of these FPIs use low-noise cooled-CCD detectors with 1024 × 1024 pixels combined with a 4-stage thermoelectric cooling system that can cool the CCD temperature down to -80°C. The large incident angle (maximum: 1.3°-1.4°) to the etalon achieved by the use of multiple orders increases the throughput of the FPIs. The airglow and aurora observations at Tromsø by FP01 show wind velocities with typical random errors ranging from 2 to 13 m s-1 and from 4 to 27 m s-1 for mesosphere (557.7 nm) and thermosphere (630.0 nm) measurements, respectively. The 630.0-nm airglow observations at Shigaraki, Japan, by FP02-FP04 and by the American FPI instruments give thermospheric wind velocities with typical random errors that vary from 2 m s-1 to more than 50 m s-1 depending on airglow intensity.
Key words: Fabry-Perot interferometer, thermospheric wind, small etalon, cooled-CCD camera.


Corresponding author E-mail: shiokawa@stelab.nagoya-u.ac.jp


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