Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere

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AIM (Explorer 90)
AIM (Explorer 90)
Type: Research satellite
Country: United StatesUnited States United States
Operator: National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationNASA NASA
COSPAR-ID : 2007-015A
Mission dates
Dimensions: 150 kg
Begin: April 25, 2007, 20:26 UTC
Starting place: Point Arguello
Launcher: Pegasus-XL F-38
Status: in orbit, in operation
Orbit data
Rotation time : 96.3 min
Orbit inclination : 97.8 °
Apogee height 594 km
Perigee height 579 km

A eronomy of I ce in the M esosphere (AIM) is a NASA satellite for observing the glowing night clouds . The research focuses on the formation and change of these highest clouds. AIM was launched on April 25, 2007 at 20:26 UTC with a Pegasus-XL and is orbiting the earth in a polar orbit . After launch, the satellite was given the additional name Explorer 90 . Operation was originally planned to run until June 2009, but has been extended several times, most recently to September 2023 Template: future / in 3 years.

AIM is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and funded by the SMEX (SMall EXplorers) program. The direction of the AIM mission has been given to Hampton University in Virginia . Their Center for Atmospheric Sciences, together with other US universities, is responsible for the satellite's experiments.


There are three experiments on board:

The C loud I maging and P article S ize experiment is a complex camera system that is supposed to photograph the clouds. The instrument was built by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado and has four cameras. Panoramic images of 120 ° by 80 ° can be made. In addition, the contrast of the photos is enhanced by a filter for ultraviolet light.
The S olar O ccultation f or I ce E xperiment has various sensors. This is how the temperature of the clouds should be measured. SOFIE aims to research the nature of clouds. This includes determining the amount of frozen water vapor. In addition, SOFIE can define gases, which should explain the chemistry of these clouds. The system was built by Utah State University .
The C osmic D ust E xperiment was built like the CIPS device from LASP and is intended as Stardust , small meteorite particles absorb that have entered the Earth's atmosphere. This is important because it is believed that this dust is important for the formation or change in the high clouds. CDE is mounted on the satellite so that it is pointing away from the earth.

Web links

Commons : AIM (satellite)  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Orbit data according to AIM. n2yo, August 12, 2012, accessed August 13, 2012 .
  2. NASA's AIM Mission Soars to the Edge of Space . NASA, April 25, 2007 (English)
  3. ^ ESA: AIM (Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere). Retrieved on May 11, 2018 : "January 30, 2018: After more then 10 years on orbit, the AIM mission is fully operational with planned operations going through September 2023"
  4. The instruments (English)