Date of Award

5-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Aviation Systems

Major Professor

Stephen Corda

Committee Members

U. Peter Solies, Richard Ranaudo

Abstract

The scientific objective of this study is to design an aircraft flight experiment that will provide airborne imaging data, augmenting satellite data, to advance the fundamental understanding of polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs). By capturing simultaneous top and bottom views of the PMCs, these airborne images will both provide insight into the time evolution of PMCs, and into the micro-features of these clouds, from which gravity waves and other details of the clouds vertical structures may be obtained. These data may help us better understand the driving mechanisms of these clouds and ultimately those elements of global climatic change, which are believed to cause their expanding presence.

The proposed imager will use a similar charged-coupled device and interface as that of the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere’s (AIM’s) Cloud Imager and Particle Size (CIPS) imager and will observe the clouds in both the visible spectra and in a near-ultraviolet spectrum closer to the sensitivity of the CIPS imager. The sensor is to be integrated aboard UTSIs Piper Navajo. Algorithms for satellite intercept trajectories and airborne imager positioning are developed for flight campaigns, scheduled for the 2007 Boreal Summer along a series of airstrips in both Northern Quebec and Alaska.

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