Optical Profiling of the Atmospheric Limb
The OPAL 3U CubeSat mission is designed to map global thermospheric temperature variability at mid- and low-latitudes over the critical “thermospheric gap” region (~100-140 km altitude) where prior data are sparse. OPAL data will be combined with data from other similar sensors to assist in the development of data analysis algorithms to observe the temperature response of the atmosphere during geomagnetic storms and as gravity waves propagate upwards.
The OPAL instrument is a high resolution imaging spectrometer that simultaneously collects spatially-resolved A-band spectra in multiple azimuthal directions and across the full range of A-band emission. SDL is responsible for designing, fabricating, and testing the OPAL instrument.