Potential for the measurement of mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) wind, temperature, density and geomagnetic field with Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder 2 (SMILES-2)
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2020
Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder 2 (SMILES-2) is a satellite mission proposed in Japan to probe the middle and upper atmosphere (20-160 km). The main instrument is composed of 4K cooled radiometers operating near 0.7 and 2 THz. It could measure the diurnal changes of the horizontal wind above 30 km, temperature above 20 km, ground-state atomic oxygen above 90 km and atmospheric density near the mesopause, as well as abundance of about 15 chemical species. In this study we have conducted simulations to assess the wind, temperature and density retrieval performance in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (60- 110 km) using the radiometer at 760 GHz. It contains lines of water vapor (H2O), molecular oxygen (O2) and nitric oxide (NO) that are the strongest signals measured with SMILES-2 at these altitudes. The Zeeman effect on the O2 line due to the geomagnetic field (B) is considered; otherwise, the retrieval errors would be underestimated by a factor of 2 above 90 km. The optimal configuration for the radiometer's polarization is found to be vertical linear. Considering a retrieval vertical resolution of 2.5 km, the line-of-sight wind is retrieved with a precision of 2-5ms-1 up to 90 km and 30ms-1 at 110 km. Temperature and atmospheric density are retrieved with a precision better than 5K and 7% up to 90 km (30K and 20% at 110 km). Errors induced by uncertainties on the vector B are mitigated by retrieving it. The retrieval of B is described as a side-product of the mission. At high latitudes, precisions of 30-100 nT on the vertical component and 100-300 nT on the horizontal one could be obtained at 85 and 105 km (vertical resolution of 20 km). SMILES-2 could therefore provide the first measurements of B close to the electrojets' altitude, and the precision is enough to measure variations induced by solar storms in the auroral regions.