Abstract

It is demonstrated that for maximizing the scientific output of future ionospheric and magnetospheric ion cloud release experiments a new type of instrument is required which will measure the line-of-sight velocity of the ion cloud by the Doppler technique. A simple instrument was constructed using a 5-cm diam solid Fabry-Perot etalon coupled to a low-light-level integrating TV camera. It was demonstrated that the system has both the sensitivity and spectral resolution for detection of ion clouds and measurement of their line-of-sight Doppler velocity. The tests consisted of (1) a field experiment using a rocket barium cloud release to check sensitivity, and (2) laboratory experiments to show the spectral resolving capabilities of the system. The instrument was found to be operational if the source was brighter than ~1 kR, and it had a wavelength resolution much better than 0.2 Å, which corresponds to ~12 km/sec or in the case of barium ion an acceleration potential of 100 V. The instrument is rugged and, therefore, simple to use in field experiments or on flight instruments. The sensitivity limit of the instrument can be increased by increasing the size of the etalon.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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