Channel Description


Sun Sensor


PMC Measurements

Cosmic Dust

Refraction Angle Temperatures

Trade Studies


SOFIE will be one of three instruments onboard the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) satellite. The objective of AIM is to study polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs) and the environment in which they form.

SOFIE will measure solar energy passing through the limb of the earth's atmosphere as the sun rises or sets relative to the spacecraft (i.e. "solar occultation"). These measurements will be accomplished using differential absorption radiometry with eight channel pairs covering wavelengths from 0.29 to 5.26 microns. Six SOFIE channels are designed to measure gaseous signals, and two are dedicated to particle measurements.  Measurements in two carbon dioxide bands will be used to simultaneously retrieve profiles of temperature and carbon dioxide mixing ratio. Each SOFIE channel uses two detectors, one that samples a spectral region where the target gas is strongly absorbing, and one that samples a weakly absorbing region. Measuring the difference of these signals allows precise isolation of the target gas signal.  Once the gaseous contribution is isolated, the remaining signals can be used to infer particle extinction, so that particle measurements will be obtained from every channel.

SOFIE is being built by the Space Dynamics Laboratory

The SOFIE PI is Larry Gordley of GATS Inc.