Atmospheric, Planetary, and Optical Research

CPI maintains active research programs at Haystack/Millstone Observatory in Massachusetts (USA), the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, the Inter-American Observatory on Cerro Tololo in Chile. CPI staff has served on Arecibo, NSF, and DOE scientific advisory committees, and belongs to professional societies including AGU, AAS, DPS, SPIE, OSA, and the Electrochemical Society.

chile airglow facilityResearch in the fields of aeronomy and atmospheric science is conducted at Arecibo by Dr. John Noto. The Passive Optical Laboratory at Arecibo has a variety of instrumentation used for the passive study of terrestrial airglow. A Fabry-Perot interferometer is used to measure neutral winds and temperatures of the upper atmosphere of the earth. Another Fabry-Perot is used to measure hydrogen and helium population. This capability complements that of the incoherent scatter radar to study escape of hydrogen and helium from the upper atmosphere. The optical instrumentation at Arecibo Passive Optical Laboratory includes a photometer, several Fabry-Perots, and a spectrometer. Domes in the roof of the building are assigned to various researchers with different applications, including atmospheric science, aeronomy, auroral studies, passive remote sensing, and LIDAR. The research goals at CPI include the integration of an imager in this facility at Arecibo.