Medium Resolution Spectra of Solar Illuminated Sounding Rocket Samarium Vapor Releases

Monday, 15 December 2014
Jeffrey M Holmes1, Todd Ryan Pedersen1, Daniel Miller1, Ron Caton1 and Paul A Bernhardt2, (1)Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Afb, NM, United States, (2)Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC, United States
Samarium spectra in the visible wavelengths (400-900 nm) are presented from the Metal Oxide Space Clouds (MOSC) sounding rocket launches of 2014 May 01 and 09. The two releases occurred in twilight at the ground, but with distinctly different solar elevation angles. Resonance-fluorescence spectral lines are identified throughout this wavelength range, and are attributed to Sm, Sm+, SmO and SmO+. Even given the wide spectral range of the instrument, the spectral resolution throughout the range was 1.5 nm or better. The time variation of spectral line intensity from various neutral and ionized atomic and molecular products are compared with a time dependent model of the samarium release, yielding estimates of photoionization rates, autoionization rates (reaction with O to form SmO+), and relative populations of energy levels giving rise to the spectra.