Articles | Volume 29, issue 9
Ann. Geophys., 29, 1529–1536, 2011
Ann. Geophys., 29, 1529–1536, 2011

Regular paper 02 Sep 2011

Regular paper | 02 Sep 2011

Initial daytime and nighttime SOFDI observations of thermospheric winds from Fabry-Perot Doppler shift measurements of the 630-nm OI line-shape profile

A. J. Gerrard1 and J. W. Meriwether2 A. J. Gerrard and J. W. Meriwether
  • 1Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research, Department of Physics, 323 Martin Luther King Boulevard, 101 Tiernan Hall, Newark, NJ 07102-1982, USA
  • 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0978, USA

Abstract. In this paper we present both night and day thermospheric wind observations made with the Second-generation, Optimized, Fabry-Perot Doppler Imager (SOFDI), a novel triple-etalon Fabry-Perot interferometer (FPI) designed to make 24-h measurements of thermospheric winds from OI 630-nm emission. These results were obtained from the northeastern United States and from under the magnetic equator at Huancayo, Peru and demonstrate the current instrument capability for measurements of Doppler shifts for either night or day. We found the uncertainties in the measurements agree with expected values based upon forward modeling calculations; nighttime wind components having an uncertainty of ~20-m s−1 at 30-min resolution and daytime wind components having an uncertainty of ~70-m s−1 at 20-min resolution. The nighttime uncertainties are typically larger than those seen with traditional single-etalon FPIs, which occur at the cost of being able to achieve daytime measurements. The thermospheric wind measurements from Huancayo replicate recently reported CHAMP zonal winds and are in disagreement with current empirical wind climatologies. In addition, we discuss the incorporation of how multiple point heads in the SOFDI instrument will allow for unique studies of gravity wave activity in future measurements.