BackForwardInstrument:  VIS 

Instrument details
Acronym VIS
Full name Visible Imaging System
Purpose Quantitative assessment of the dissipation of magnetospheric energy into the auroral ionosphere
Short description Imaging fluxmeter. Set of three low-light-level cameras. Two are designed to provide images of the night-time auroral oval at visible wavelengths. The third camera is used to monitor the FOV directions of the sensitive auroral cameras with respect to the sunlit Earth. Five channels in the range 391-732 nm
Background Part of a package of instruments to explore the Magnetosphere
Scanning Technique Travelling cross the Magnetosphere in a highly-elliptical orbit, also viewing the Earth's limb and surface
Resolution 10 km at Earth's surface (from the apogee)
Coverage / Cycle Full magnetosphere with sampling at 12 s intervals
Mass Power Data Rate


Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 1996 to 2008-04-15
Last update: 2017-05-21
Detailed characteristics
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Solar and space environment monitors
  • Space radiometer or spectrometer
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Aurora
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Tentative Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Aurora1 - primaryNo specific limitation.Observed down to Earth's surface in VIS (400-700 nm)