SSI is a proud member of the American Commercial Space Weather Association (ACSWA), maintains Fabry-Perot interferometers (FPI) at MIT Haystack/Millstone Hill Observatory in Massachusetts (USA) and the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, and has a presence at the Inter-American Observatory on Cerro Tololo in Chile. SSI staff has served on Arecibo, NSF, and DOE scientific advisory committees, and belongs to professional societies including AGU, AAS, DPS, SPIE, OSA, and the Electrochemical Society.

Arecibo Observatory

Airglow Facility on Cerro Tololo in Chile

Airglow Facility on Cerro Tololo in Chile

The Optical Laboratory at Arecibo has a variety of instrumentation used for the passive study of terrestrial airglow. A Fabry-Perot interferometer is used to measure neutral winds and temperatures of the upper atmosphere of the earth. Currently there are four Fabry-Perot interferometers in operation at the Optical Laboratory and one all-sky imaging system, in addition to a photometer and a spectrometer.

Recently, two of these Fabry-Perot interferometer systems were upgraded and installed at the Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. These instruments autonomously and simultaneously observe optical emissions from thermospheric oxygen at two different altitudes. These new dichroic instruments, which combine a telecentric imaging system with large aperture interferometers, have resulted in a dramatic increase in instrument sensitivity and data collection cadence. The instrument control system is modernized for fully robotic operation utilizing a client-server model. Thermospheric winds and temperatures are collected every clear night of every month, with wavelength calibration, camera diagnostics (bias, dark, and flatfield calibrations), and data-taking control available from any internet connection. Neutral, meridional and zonal wind vectors typically have 1-2 m/s statistical errors, and neutral temperatures have statistical errors <10K in three minute exposures. Operation and analysis algorithms operate in a fully automated manner, including calculation of geophysical parameters with a data quality index. These data are made available each morning following observations at www.neutralwinds.com. This unique Data as a Service (DaaS) methodology is being extended to a family of airglow monitoring instrumentation including all-sky imagers and meridional spectrographs.

The Walden Small All-Sky Imager is also operating in the Optical Laboratory at Arecibo. This tiny instrument images an entire 180° field of view, simultaneously, onto a 1392 x 1040 pixel Sony CCD. It uses a telecentric design to ensure that all the chief rays are at normal incidence at the image plane, allowing the use of narrow bandpass interference filters (<2nm) in the five-position filter wheel.

*Click images for larger view.

Zonal and meridional winds at Arecibo Observatory

Red-Line (6300Å) Fabry-Perot Interferometer

All-Sky Imager with filter wheel. Images entire 180˚ field of view onto 1392 x 1040 pixel CCD

MIT Haystack/Millstone Hill Observatory

Zonal and meridional winds at MIT Haystack/Millstone Hill Observatory. *Click for larger view.

Research in the fields of aeronomy and atmospheric science is conducted at MIT Haystack/Millstone Hill Observatory  by Dr. John Noto. The Optical Laboratory at MIT Haystack/Millstone Hill Observatory has two Fabry-Perot interferometers used to measure neutral winds and temperatures of the upper atmosphere of the earth, as well as a weather-monitoring station.

Recently, two Fabry-Perot interferometer systems were also upgraded and installed at the MIT Haystack/Millstone Hill Observatory in Westford, MA. These instruments autonomously and simultaneously observe optical emissions from thermospheric oxygen at two different altitudes. These new dichroic instruments, which combine a telecentric imaging system with large aperture interferometers, have resulted in a dramatic increase in instrument sensitivity and data collection cadence. The instrument control system is modernized for fully robotic operation utilizing a client-server model. Thermospheric winds and temperatures are collected every clear night of every month, with wavelength calibration, camera diagnostics (bias, dark, and flatfield calibrations), and data-taking control available from any internet connection. Neutral, meridional and zonal wind vectors typically have 1 m/s statistical errors, and neutral temperatures have statistical errors <15K in three minute exposures. Operation and analysis algorithms operate in a fully automated manner, including calculation of geophysical parameters with a data quality index. These data are made available each morning following observations at www.neutralwinds.com. This unique Data as a Service (DaaS) methodology is being extended to a family of airglow monitoring instrumentation including all-sky imagers and meridional spectrographs.

Data as a Service (DaaS)

While all of our instruments are capable of stand-alone operation, using our intuitive and programmable software package, ImageTool (included), the entire series of instrumentation can also be directly connected to our centralized analysis server. This allows for automatic and unattended collection, archiving, and analysis of data.

Data as a Service (DaaS) provides a “field it and forget it” model for remote sensing. Once deployed and activated, these instruments are all controllable over the internet and our server can download the collected data at regular intervals. The data can then be processed at any level you require; the final data product will be sent to you while the raw data and intermediate data products are archived in the Amazon EC3 cloud.

For a live example, please see our www.neutralwinds.com website where Doppler imager data is collected nightly, processed, analyzed, and turned into geophysical data – automatically. This data is sent to several research groups and stored in the MADRIGAL database at the MIT Haystack Millstone Hill Observatory.

Wamesit Space Weather Station

Wamesit_Space_Weather_Station

A turnkey housing unit for space weather instruments. The station has an optical dome and temperature-controlled interior. The housing operates on 110 volts and communication capabilities include 4G, LTE, and Wi-Fi. An onboard computer handles all data acquisition and the GPS is for TEC measurements in the ionosphere.