OPTICAL MEASUREMENTS OF NATURAL AURORA IN THE NORTHERN AURORAL ZONE FROM AN AIRCRAFT PLATFORM.
EDGERTON GERMESHAUSEN AND GRIER INC BOSTON MASS
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An auroral measurements program to study natural auroras by photographic and spectroscopic techniques was carried out. This program was performed aboard an Air Force KC-135 aircraft over Alaska. The flight missions were scheduled to coincide with the passage, overhead, of an instrumented satellite, designed to transmit radio frequency signals through the auroras in order to study the transmission properties of the auroras. When the attempt to launch the satellite failed, the radio signals transmitted by a satellite already in orbit were used. In general, results of photographic measurements were similar to those expected from typical strong auroras present at that time of year. The photographic data collected during six flight missions show structural variations of the aurora and also show that the auroral phenomena varied significantly from mission to mission. The results of the spectrographic measurements indicate the presence of most of the bands and lines generally observed in nighttime aurora. Author