Development of low-cost multi-wavelength imager system for studies of aurora and airglow

Y. Ogawa, Y. Tanaka, A. Kadokura, K. Hosokawa, Y. Ebihara, T. Motoba, B. Gustavsson, U. Brändström, Y. Sato, S. Oyama, M. Ozaki, T. Raita, F. Sigernes, S. Nozawa, K. Shiokawa, M. Kosch, K. Kauristie, C. Hall, S. Suzuki, Y. MiyoshiA. Gerrard, H. Miyaoka, R. Fujii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This paper introduces a new system that can monitor aurora and atmospheric airglow using a low-cost Watec monochromatic imager (WMI) equipped with a sensitive camera, a filter with high transmittance, and the non-telecentric optics. The WMI system with 486-nm, 558-nm, and 630-nm band-pass filters has observable luminosity of about ~200–4000 Rayleigh for 1.07-sec exposure time and about ~40–1200 Rayleigh for 4.27-sec exposure time, for example. It is demonstrated that the WMI system is capable of detecting 428-nm auroral intensities properly, through comparison with those measured with a collocated electron-multiplying charge-coupled device (EMCCD) imager system with narrower band-pass filter. The WMI system has two distinct advantages over the existing system: One makes it possible to reduce overall costs, and the other is that it enables the continuous observation even under twilight and moonlight conditions. Since 2013 a set of multi-wavelength WMIs has been operating in northern Scandinavia, Svalbard, and Antarctica to study meso- and large-scale aurora and airglow phenomena. Future development of the low-cost WMI system is expected to provide a great opportunity for constructing a global network for multi-wavelength aurora and airglow monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100501
JournalPolar Science
StatePublished - Mar 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


  • Airglow
  • Aurora
  • Imager
  • Polar ionosphere


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