Channel Description
Measurement Coverage
Sun Sensor
PMC Measurements
Cosmic Dust
Refraction Angle Temperatures
Trade Studies

SOFIE is being built by the
Space Dynamics Laboratory

The SOFIE PI is Larry Gordley
of GATS Inc.

This site is maintained by
Mark Hervig (SOFIE Deputy PI) m.e.hervig@gats-inc.com

SOFIE is 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 uses the technique of solar occultation to measure solar energy passing through the limb of the earth's atmosphere as the sun rises or sets relative to the spacecraft. These measurements are accomplished using differential absorption radiometry with eight band pairs covering wavelengths from 0.29 to 5.26 microns. Six SOFIE channels are designed to measure gaseous signals, and two are dedicated to PMC 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 and reduces common-mode noise. The measurements allow PMC extinction retrievals using the gas channel weak bands, so that PMCs will be measured at a total of 11 wavelengths.

The AIM spacecraft was launched on 25 May 2007.