Bistatic LIDAR experiment proposed for the shuttle/tethered satellite system missions

David J. McComas, Harlan E. Spence, Robert R. Karl, Henry G. Horak, Thomas D. Wilkerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A new experiment concept has been proposed for the shuttle/tethered satellite system missions, which can provide high-resolution, global density mappings of certain ionospheric species. The technique utilizes bistatic LIDAR to take advantage of the unique dual platform configuration offered by these missions. A tuned, shuttle-based laser is used to excite a column of the atmosphere adjacent to the tethered satellite, while triangulating photometric detectors on the satellite are employed to measure the fluorescence from sections of the column. The fluorescent intensity at the detectors is increased about six decades over both ground-based and monostatic shuttle-based LIDAR sounding of the same region. In addition, the orbital motion of the shuttle provides for quasiglobal mapping unattainable with ground-based observations. Since this technique provides such vastly improved resolution on a synoptic scale, many important middle atmospheric studies, heretofore untenable, may soon be addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-673
Number of pages4
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation


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