Presentation Open Access

Upgrading AIR-Spec for the 2019 Eclipse

Menzel, Marissa

Thesis supervisor(s)

Samra, Jenna; Marquez, Vanessa

Although mid-infrared (IR) emission lines are potentially promising for measuring coronal magnetic fields, few measurements of these lines exist. The Airborne Infrared Spectrometer (AIR-Spec) was created as a pathfinder mission that would measure emission line properties and develop technology for mid-IR coronal spectroscopy. During the 2017 eclipse over North America, AIR-Spec flew aboard the NSF/NCAR Gulfstream-V research aircraft at an altitude of 14.3 km and measured lines of Si X, S XI, Fe IX, Mg VIII, and Si IX between 1.4 and 4 microns. For the 2019 solar eclipse the AIR-Spec camera exposure time will be lengthened from 60 milliseconds to 1 second, in order to boost the signal to noise ratio. A closed loop control system will be used to reduce the image jitter below the 4.6 arcsecond Nyquist Limit for each 1 second exposure. A proof-of-concept stabilization system was implemented via a Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) controller. Image motion from the 2017 eclipse flight was recreated in the lab for testing the PID gains. The best set of PID gains resulted in a total root mean square (RMS) of 82.5% under the 4.6 arcsecond limit. The RMS for the x and y directions were 96.4% and 88.7% under the limit, respectively. A smoothing filter was applied to reduce oscillation during changes to the setpoint. Future work will include creating a 2D model, adapting the system for variable delays, and predicting delays before they exist. The upgraded closed loop stabilization system will be implemented during the 2019 solar eclipse.

This work was supported by the NSF-REU Solar Physics program at SAO, grant number AGS-1560313, and NSF MRI-1531549: Development of An Airborne Infrared Spectrometer (AIR-Spec) for Coronal Emission Line Observation.
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