THEMIS ground based observatory system design

S. E. Harris, S. B. Mende, V. Angelopoulos, W. Rachelson, E. Donovan, B. Jackel, M. Greffen, C. T. Russell, D. R. Pierce, D. J. Dearborn, K. Rowe, M. Connors

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The comprehensive THEMIS approach to solving the substorm problem calls for monitoring the nightside auroral oval with low-cost, robust white-light imagers and magnetometers that can deliver high time resolution data (0.33 and 2 Hz, respectively). A network of 20 Ground-Based Observatories (GBOs) are deployed across Canada and Alaska to support the collection of data from these instruments. Here we describe the system design of the observatory, with emphasis on how the design meets the environmental and data-collection requirements. We also review the design of the All Sky Imager (ASI), discuss how it was built to survive Arctic deployments, and summarize the optical characterizations performed to qualify the design to meet THEMIS mission requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-233
Number of pages21
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec. 2008


  • All sky camera
  • Aurora
  • Geophysics
  • Magnetometer
  • Magnetosphere


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