Articles | Volume 28, issue 2
15 Feb 2010
 | 15 Feb 2010

SCANDI – an all-sky Doppler imager for studies of thermospheric spatial structure

A. L. Aruliah, E. M. Griffin, H.-C. I. Yiu, I. McWhirter, and A. Charalambous

Abstract. A new all-sky Fabry-Perot Interferometer called the Scanning Doppler Imager (SCANDI) was built and installed at Longyearbyen in December 2006. Observations have been made of the Doppler shifts and Doppler broadening of the 630 nm airglow and aurora, from which upper thermospheric winds and temperatures are calculated. SCANDI allows measurements over a field-of-view (FOV) with a horizontal radius of nearly 600 km for observations at an altitude of 250 km using a time resolution of 8 min. The instrument provides the ability to observe thermospheric spatial structure within a FOV which overlaps that of the EISCAT Svalbard radar and CUTLASS SuperDARN radars. Coordinating with these instruments provides an important opportunity for studying ion-neutral coupling. The all-sky image is divided into several sectors to provide a horizontal spatial resolution of between 100–300 km. This is a powerful extension in observational capability but requires careful calibration and data analysis, as described here. Two observation modes were used: a fixed and a scanning etalon gap. SCANDI results are corroborated using the Longyearbyen single look direction FPI, and ESR measurements of the ion temperatures. The data show thermospheric temperature gradients of a few Kelvins per kilometre, and a great deal of meso-scale variability on spatial scales of several tens of kilometres.