Auroral Imaging With Combined Suomi 100 Nanosatellite and Ground-Based Observations: A Case Study

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Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Date
2023-05
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Language
en
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Journal of geophysical research: Space physics, Volume 128, issue 5
Abstract
Auroras can be regarded as the most fascinating manifestation of space weather and they are continuously observed by ground-based and, nowadays more and more, also by space-based measurements. Investigations of auroras and geospace comprise the main research goals of the Suomi 100 nanosatellite, the first Finnish space research satellite, which has been measuring the Earth's ionosphere since its launch on 3 December 2018. In this work, we present a case study where the satellite's camera observations of an aurora over Northern Europe are combined with ground-based observations of the same event. The analyzed image is, to the authors' best knowledge, the first auroral image ever taken by a CubeSat. Our data analysis shows that a satellite vantage point provides complementary, novel information of such phenomena. The 3D auroral location reconstruction of the analyzed auroral event demonstrates how information from a 2D image can be used to provide location information of auroras under study. The location modeling also suggests that the Earth's limb direction, which was the case in the analyzed image, is an ideal direction to observe faint auroras. Although imaging on a small satellite has some large disadvantages compared with ground-based imaging (the camera cannot be repaired, a fast moving spinning satellite), the data analysis and modeling demonstrate how even a small 1-Unit (size: 10 × 10 × 10 cm) CubeSat and its camera, build using cheap commercial off-the-shelf components, can open new possibilities for auroral research, especially, when its measurements are combined with ground-based observations.
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Funding Information: The authors would like to thank the Finnish Prime Minister's Office, the Magnus Ehrnrooth Foundation, and the Academy of Finland (Decision No. 348784) for the financial support of the Suomi 100 satellite project. Tuija Pulkkinen is acknowledged for her support of the Suomi 100 satellite project. EK thanks Jari Mäkinen for the Suomi 100 satellite outreach activities and Valtteri Harmainen for the design and implementing of the data‐sharing cloud service. The panoramic image in Figure 2 is made with the Hugin open‐source panoramic photo‐stitching and merging program ( http://hugin.sourceforge.net/ ). The authors acknowledge Dr. Max van de Kamp for the preparation of Figure 4c and the Finnish Meteorological Institute for the used 2D Equivalent Currents web service ( https://space.fmi.fi/MIRACLE/iono_2D.php ). The authors also acknowledge Sodankylä Geomagnetic Observatory/University of Oulu for the riometer data. The authors would also like to thank referees for invaluable remarks and suggestions which helped to improve the paper. Funding Information: The authors would like to thank the Finnish Prime Minister's Office, the Magnus Ehrnrooth Foundation, and the Academy of Finland (Decision No. 348784) for the financial support of the Suomi 100 satellite project. Tuija Pulkkinen is acknowledged for her support of the Suomi 100 satellite project. EK thanks Jari Mäkinen for the Suomi 100 satellite outreach activities and Valtteri Harmainen for the design and implementing of the data-sharing cloud service. The panoramic image in Figure 2 is made with the Hugin open-source panoramic photo-stitching and merging program (http://hugin.sourceforge.net/). The authors acknowledge Dr. Max van de Kamp for the preparation of Figure 4c and the Finnish Meteorological Institute for the used 2D Equivalent Currents web service (https://space.fmi.fi/MIRACLE/iono_2D.php). The authors also acknowledge Sodankylä Geomagnetic Observatory/University of Oulu for the riometer data. The authors would also like to thank referees for invaluable remarks and suggestions which helped to improve the paper. Publisher Copyright: ©2023. The Authors.
Keywords
all-sky camera, auroral imaging, auroras, camera instrument, CubeSat, nanosatellite
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Citation
Kallio , E , Harri , A M , Knuuttila , O , Jarvinen , R , Kauristie , K , Kestilä , A , Kivekäs , J , Koskimaa , P , Lukkari , J M , Partamies , N , Rynö , J & Syrjäsuo , M 2023 , ' Auroral Imaging With Combined Suomi 100 Nanosatellite and Ground-Based Observations: A Case Study ' , Journal of geophysical research: Space physics , vol. 128 , no. 5 , e2023JA031414 . https://doi.org/10.1029/2023JA031414