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Far Ultraviolet Imager (FUV)

NSSDCA ID: 2000-017A-05

Mission Name: IMAGE
Principal Investigator:Dr. Steven B. Mende


The IMAGE satellite instrument complement includes three Far Ultraviolet (FUV) instruments. In the wavelength region 120-190 nm, a downward-viewing auroral imager is only minimally contaminated by sunlight, scattered from clouds and ground, and radiance of the aurora observed in a nadir viewing geometry can be observed in the presence of the high-latitude dayglow. The Wideband Imaging Camera (WIC) provides broadband ultraviolet images of the aurora for maximum spatial and temporal resolution by imaging the LBH N2 bands of the aurora. The Spectrographic Imager (SI), a monochromatic imager, images different types of aurora, filtered by wavelength. By measuring the Doppler-shifted Lyman-a, the proton-induced component of the aurora can be imaged separately. Finally, the GEO instrument observes the distribution of the geocoronal emission, which is a measure of the neutral background density source for charge exchange in the magnetosphere. The FUV instrument complement looks radially outward from the rotating IMAGE satellite and, therefore, it spends only a short time observing the aurora and the Earth during each spin (120-s period). Detailed descriptions of the WIC, SI, GEO, and their individual performance validations can be found in the January 2000 issue of the Space Science Review.

One primary requirement of the FUV instrument is to maximize photon collection efficiency and use efficiently the short time available for exposures. The FUV auroral imagers WIC and SI both have wide fields of view and take data continuously as the auroral region proceeds through the field of view. To minimize data volume, multiple images are taken and electronically co-added by suitably shifting each image to compensate for the spacecraft rotation. In order to minimize resolution loss, the images have to be distortion -corrected in real time for both WIC and SI prior to co-adding. The distortion correction is using high speed look up tables that are pre-generated by least square fitting to polynomial functions by the on-orbit processor. The instruments were calibrated individually while on stationery platforms, mostly in vacuum chambers as described in the companion papers. Extensive ground-based testing was performed with visible and near UV simulators mounted on a rotating platform to estimate their on-orbit performance.

Alternate Names

  • FUV

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)


  • Space Physics: Ionospheric Studies
  • Space Physics: Magnetospheric Studies

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. Shing F. Fung



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Jean-Claude GerardCo-InvestigatorUniversite
Dr. Leroy L. CoggerCo-InvestigatorUniversity of
Dr. Claude JamarCo-InvestigatorUniversite
Dr. John Sandy MurphreeCo-InvestigatorUniversity of
Dr. G. Randy GladstoneCo-InvestigatorSouthwest Research
Dr. James F. SpannCo-InvestigatorSouthwest Research
Dr. Steven B. MendeLead InvestigatorUniversity of California,
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