A study on UV emission from clouds with Mini-EUSO
July 03, 2021
Mini-EUSO is the first mission of the JEM-EUSO program located on the International Space Station.
One of the main goals of the mission is to provide valuable scientific data in view of future large missions devoted to study Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECRs) from space by exploiting the fluorescence emission generated by Extensive Air Showers (EAS) developing in the atmosphere.
A space mission like Mini-EUSO experiences continuous changes
in atmospheric conditions, including the cloud presence.
The influence of clouds on space-based observation is, therefore, an important topic to investigate as it might alter the instantaneous exposure for EAS detection or deteriorate the quality of the EAS images with consequences on the reconstructed EAS parameters.
For this purpose, JEM-EUSO is planning to have an IR camera and a lidar as part of its Atmospheric Monitoring System.
At the same time, it would be extremely beneficial if the UV camera itself would be able to detect the presence of clouds, at least in some specific conditions.
For this reason, we analyze a few case studies by comparing the pixel count rates from Mini-EUSO during orbits with the cloud cover (as cloud fraction).
This quantity is retrieved from the Global Forecast System (GFS) model at different height levels over the Mini-EUSO trajectory.
The results of this analysis are reported.
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