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Special Sensor Ultraviolet Spectrographic Imager (SSUSI)

NSSDCA ID: 2003-048A-10

Mission Name: DMSP 5D-3/F16
Principal Investigator:Dr. Larry J. Paxton


The Special Sensor Ultraviolet Spectrographic Imager (SSUSI) consists of (a) a Scanning Imaging Spectrograph (SIS) with a cross track line scan mirror, and (b) a system of three nadir-looking photometers (NPS) which operate in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. The SIS produces simultaneous monochromatic images at five "colors" in the spectral range 115nm to 180nm. The NPS consists of three photometers with filters designed to monitor the airglow at 427.8nm and 630nm and the terrestrial albedo near 630nm. SSUSI will provide information on the ionosphere and thermosphere by monitoring three general regions: the daytime low- to mid-latitude ionosphere and thermosphere, the nighttime low- to mid-latitude ionosphere and the high-latitude auroral zone. SSUSI data products include maps of the auroral oval, the characteristic energy and flux of the electrons (which excite it), F-region ionospheric electron density profiles, and dayside neutral composition information. More information can be found on the APL SSUSI site at

Alternate Names

  • DMSP5D-3/F16/SpecialSensorUltravioletSpectrographicImager_SSUSI_

Funding Agency

  • Department of Defense (United States)


  • Space Physics: Zodiacal Light/Interplanet Dust
  • Space Physics: Thermospheric Studies

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. Dieter K. Bilitza



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Larry J. PaxtonPrincipal InvestigatorApplied Physics
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