Synonyms: 
DC8
DC-8
NASA DC8
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Utah State Near-Infrared Spectrometer

NIRSPEC detects shock emissions in the range 0.96 - 1.67 micron and measures blackbody continuum in the near-Infrared where the blackbody continuum peaks at lower temperatures.

The instrument consists of an InGaAs camera with a 600 l/mm objective grating. The InGaAs camera detects stars of about J-magnitude +2, meteors of about magnitude -1. The co-aligned intensified camera detects stars of magnitude +6.

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NO and NOy Chemiluminescence Instrument

NO is measured using a chemiluminescence detector. One of the four NO detectors is used for the NO measurements. NOy is measured simultaneously by catalytically converting it to NO on the surface of gold tubes heated to ±° C, with carbon monoxide (CO) acting as a reducing agent. The converter system is contained in a pod mounted outside the cabin to minimize the length of the inlet tubes. Gas phase-NOy measurements are made by sampling air through the rearward facing inlet which discriminates against particles of diameter larger than 1 mm. The mixing ratios of total NOy (gas phase-NOy + amplified particulate-NOy) are measured by sampling air through the forward facing inlet which is heated to 100° C. The mixing ratios of gas phase and total NOy are measured independently. A humidifier maintains the H2O mixing ratio in sample flows at a few % in order to stabilize the instrument background against humidity variations in the ambient air. The absolute sensitivities of the NO and NOy channels are measured every 80 minutes by adding NO or NO2 standard gases. The pressure in the gold catalytic converter for gas-phase NOy is maintained at a constant value of about 50 hPa, independent of the ambient pressure. The pressure is held constant by controlling the sample flow using a servo-controlled Teflon valve mounted upstream of the converter tube. All parts of the inlet system upstream of the gold catalyst are made of Perfluoroalkoxy (PFA) Teflon which is temperature controlled at 40˚C. The NO2 conversion efficiency is 99.0611%. The HCN conversion efficiency is lower than 5% for dry air with O3 mixing ratios lower than 100 ppbv. It decreases to 2% for humid air with an H2O mixing ratio of 0.1% and O3 mixing ratios lower than 100 ppbv. This instrument is also equipped with an NO2 photolytic converter combined with an NO detector in our first attempt to access the accuracy of the NO2 measurements.

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Miniature Echelle Spectrograph

The miniature Echelle spectrograph provides gigh-resolution Echelle spectroscopy, whereby the spectral range (360 - 900 nm) is folded into shorter segments and projected on a CCD camera for simultaneous exposure.

This instrument consists of a 100 mm f4.5 UV Nikkor lens and Catalina Scientific Corp. "Echellette" Spectrograph with Visible Module or UV Module coupled to a Q-Imaging "Intensified Retiga" blue-enhanced image intensified CCD camera.

Scientific objective: Spectral resolution of shock layer radiation. Resolve spectral lines of air plasma emissions at optical wavelengths for the measurement of excitation temperatures. Provide highest possible spectral resolution.

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X-Band Lightweight Rainfall Radiometer

The X-band LRR, which is suitable for aircraft or space-based platforms, enables markedly improved measurement of precipitation drop size and distribution (at 10.7 GHz), as well as rain rate and surface wind speeds, when used in conjunction with other instruments, such as the PR-2. With a receiver less than 1/8th the size and using 50% less power than predecessors, the LRR could lead to a space-borne 25 channel synthetic aperture radiometer that would not be strictly limited by size and power requirements.

The core technology of the LRR – a synthetically thinned aperture radiometer (STAR) – demonstrated the feasibility of a one-dimensional geometric interferometer (no moving parts) for future NASA X-band missions. The lack of a mechanical scanning apparatus found on traditional radiometers makes the LRR payload smaller, lighter, and cheaper to launch while also reducing the complexity and risk of the instrument. The team also conducted an antenna design study that validated the STAR technology in the critical Ku- and Ka-bands.

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Large Pixel Format CCD Camera

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J(NO2) Radiometer

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Intensified High Frame Rate Imager

The IHFRI provides imaging (and spectral) information at a rate of 1000 frames per second for detection of ablation anomalies, flicker in bowshock emissions, spacecraft rotation, and wake.

This instrument consists of a 6 inch clear aperature f0.75/105 mm lens and 256 x 256 pixel intensified CCD camera. The field of view is 6.25 x 6.25 degrees, illuminating 11.5 x 11.5 mm of the photocathode of the intensifier. The intensifier phospher has a brief decay time constant of 0.8 ms, ideally suited to study the natural afterglow in rapidly moving targets. It can be equipped with a low dispersion 7 inch 300 l/mm grating, providing a spectrum from 500 nm (15.9 mm from zero order) to 900 nm (29.4 mm from zero order) just outside the field of view. Spectrum can be recorded by pointing away from the SRC and will help target acquisition by providing a ray directed to the zero order.

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Intensified Camera 2

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Intensified Camera 1

This pair of intensified cameras measure the total radiative output of the SRC during entry in the 400 - 900 nm band.

The INT instrument consists of four cameras, two on both sides of the aircraft, consist of a 50 mm f2.8 Nikon lens, an XX1332 image intensifier with large 48 mm photocathode, and a Sony handycam camcorder (recording of video output on Hi-8 tape in NTSC format - 640 x 480 pixels). The lens can be equipped with a low-dispersion grating to generate 1st and higher order spectra, each containing a fraction of the light. This facilitates the measurement of luminosity when the zero order image saturates.

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Intensified All-sky Camera

ALLSKY is a wide field intensified camera with all-sky lens. It measures total radiative output in the 400 - 900 nm band.

This camera consists of a 15 mm f2.8 Canon lens, an XX1332 image intensifier with large 48-mm photocathode, and a Sony handycam camcorder (recording of video output on Hi-8 tape in NTSC format - 640 x 480 pixels). The field of view is about 160º when mounted so that the dome does not obstruct. Moonlight is blocked by covering the zenith part of the dome.

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