Optical investigation of the ionospheric and atmospheric dynamics. How can we learn something more that is significant?
Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
The development of highly-sensitive cooled-CCD cameras makes it possible to obtain two-dimensional images of waves and disturbances in the thermosphere and the mesopause region. The quantum efficiency of a thinned and back-illuminated cooled-CCD camera is very high (more than 90 percent in visible wavelengths) compared with that of less than 20 percent for previously-used image intensifiers and multi-channel plates. Applications of these cooled-CCD cameras to rotational temperature photometers and Fabry-Perot interferometers also give useful information regarding the temperatures and wind vectors in the upper atmosphere. In this invited talk, we review optical observations of the mesosphere and the thermosphere using cooled-CCD cameras through nocturnal airglow emissions, and discuss their possibility to solve various questions on the dynamics of the mesosphere, thermosphere, and ionosphere.