Articles | Volume 31, issue 9
ANGEO Communicates
 | Highlight paper
06 Sep 2013
ANGEO Communicates | Highlight paper |  | 06 Sep 2013

Stereoscopic determination of all-sky altitude map of aurora using two ground-based Nikon DSLR cameras

R. Kataoka, Y. Miyoshi, K. Shigematsu, D. Hampton, Y. Mori, T. Kubo, A. Yamashita, M. Tanaka, T. Takahei, T. Nakai, H. Miyahara, and K. Shiokawa

Abstract. A new stereoscopic measurement technique is developed to obtain an all-sky altitude map of aurora using two ground-based digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras. Two identical full-color all-sky cameras were set with an 8 km separation across the Chatanika area in Alaska (Poker Flat Research Range and Aurora Borealis Lodge) to find localized emission height with the maximum correlation of the apparent patterns in the localized pixels applying a method of the geographical coordinate transform. It is found that a typical ray structure of discrete aurora shows the broad altitude distribution above 100 km, while a typical patchy structure of pulsating aurora shows the narrow altitude distribution of less than 100 km. Because of its portability and low cost of the DSLR camera systems, the new technique may open a unique opportunity not only for scientists but also for night-sky photographers to complementarily attend the aurora science to potentially form a dense observation network.