Measurement and application of the O II 61.7 nm dayglow
Stephan, Andrew W., et al. (2012). "Measurement and application of the O II 61.7 nm dayglow." Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 117 A1: A01316
We present the first published measurement of an altitude profile of the O II 61.7 nm emission, a dayglow feature that can be used to monitor photoionization of O in the lower thermosphere. This photoionization process also results in the O II 83.4 nm emission that, unlike 61.7 nm, is resonantly scattered by ionospheric O+. Although ionospheric characteristics can be inferred from the shape and intensity of 83.4 nm altitude profiles, the interpretation can result in nonunique ion density profiles if the intensity of this source of photons that illuminates the ionosphere from below is unknown. The 61.7 nm emission provides a means to test the accuracy of current models used to calculate the intensity of that source. The data presented here were collected by the Remote Atmospheric and Ionospheric Detection System from the International Space Station on 29 October 2009. The measured 61.7 nm profiles show a steeper drop in intensity below 260 km, where the emission peaks, compared to our model calculations. While the current analysis cannot resolve if the discrepancy is caused by inaccuracies in our model thermospheric composition, photoabsorption cross sections, or both, a 15%–20% increase in the effective O2 photoabsorption at 61.7 nm produces the best qualitative match to the measured profile. Ostensibly, 61.7 nm measurements could replace these model calculations as a more direct measure of the intensity of the 83.4 nm photon source region. In either case, accurate specification of local thermospheric neutral species remains an important component of daytime ionospheric remote sensing.