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Ultraviolet Spectrometer (UVS)

NSSDC ID: 1977-076A-04
Mission Name: Voyager 2
Principal Investigator: Dr. A. Lyle Broadfoot


The UV spectrometer was designed to measure atmospheric properties and measured radiation in the wavelength range 0.04 to 0.16 micrometer (400 to 1600 A). Two modes of instrument operation were planned: airglow and occultation. In the airglow mode, the atmospheric radiation was measured. This radiation is predominantly resonance-scattered solar radiation, where the scattering is by the molecular or atomic atmospheric constituents, such as hydrogen (1216 A) or helium (584 A). In the occultation mode, sunlight was reflected into the spectrometer, and the solar spectrum was recorded. As the atmosphere moved between the spacecraft and the sun, the absorption characteristics of the atmosphere were obtained over the measured wavelength region. The absorption spectrum was used to identify the absorber as well as to measure its abundance in the line of sight to the sun. In addition, the atmosphere's thermal structure could be inferred.

Alternate Names

  • UVS

Facts in Brief

Mass: 4.5 kg
Power (avg): 3.5 W

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)


  • Astronomy: Ultraviolet
  • Planetary Science: Atmospheres

Additional Information

Questions or comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. Edwin V. Bell, II.



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. H. Warren MoosCo-InvestigatorJohns Hopkins
Prof. Jacques E. BlamontCo-InvestigatorCNRS, Service d'Aeronomie 
Dr. Bill Roy SandelCo-InvestigatorUniversity of Southern
Dr. Michael B. McElroyCo-InvestigatorHarvard
Dr. John C. McConnellCo-InvestigatorYork
Prof. Alexander DalgarnoCo-InvestigatorSmithsonian Astrophysical
Dr. Darrell F. StrobelCo-InvestigatorUS Naval Research
Prof. Sushil K. AtreyaCo-InvestigatorUniversity of
Dr. Jean-Loup C. BertauxCo-InvestigatorCNRS, Service d'
Prof. Thomas M. DonahueCo-InvestigatorUniversity of
Dr. A. Lyle BroadfootPrincipal InvestigatorUniversity of Southern
Dr. Donald E. ShemanskyCo-InvestigatorUniversity of Arizona 
Dr. Richard M. GoodyCo-InvestigatorHarvard
Dr. Michael J.S. BeltonCo-InvestigatorKitt Peak National

Selected References

Broadfoot, A. L., et al., Overview of the Voyager ultraviolet spectrometry results through Jupiter encounter, J. Geophys. Res., 86, No. A10, 8259-8284, Sept. 1981.

Broadfoot, A. L., et al., Ultraviolet spectrometer observations of Uranus, Science, 233, No. 4759, 74-79, July 1986.

Broadfoot, A. L., et al., Ultraviolet spectrometer observations of Neptune and Triton, Science, 246, No. 4936, 1459-1466, Dec. 1989.

Broadfoot, A. L., et al., Ultraviolet spectrometer experiment for the Voyager mission, Space Sci. Rev., 21, No. 2, 183-205, Nov. 1977.

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