Abstract

A general model is presented for the production of images of thermospheric dayglow emissions. Ultraviolet images are generated that are relevant to remote sensing of the principal constituents of the thermosphere (O and N2) and the ionosphere (O+). The emission features considered here are 1356-Å (O), Lyman–Birge–Hopfield bands of N2 between 1650 and 1715 Å, and 834 Å (O+). The MSIS-86 and International Reference Ionosphere models were used as climatological representations of the distributions of neutrals and ions, respectively. We describe the generation of the images beginning with the production of volume-emission-rate profiles. A detailed description of the generalized image-generation technique is given. This technique permits us to change the observer’s altitude and viewing geometry without incurring a large computational burden. The images produced by this technique demonstrate the potential of airglow imaging systems for remote sensing of global variability in thermospheric composition.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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