Air Force Research Laboratory
Last updated: October 2001
E-Mail: nierman [at] plh.af.mil
Brief Biographical Information:
Sandy Nierman is a staff researcher at the Air Force Research Laboratory.
During the 1999 Leonid multi-aircraft campaign, Sandy Nierman worked with the AFRL and SRL research teams to operate three instruments: 2 Michelson interferometers
and one infrared imager. The two interferometers cover the 1 - 3 micrometer band of the spectrum.
These instruments will be tracked onto the persistent meteor trains to try and spectrally measure the emission in this band, which should help identify the radiating species and
give insight into exactly what is happening in a persistent train.
Each interferometer has a co-aligned low light level sensor so that the
small field of view of the interferometer can be directed onto the persistent train.
Results included the detection of an increase of OH emission at the peak of the meteor storm (more info here), and the first detection of meteors in the near-IR (unpublished
Research on Leonid MAC:
During the 2001 Leonid MAC mission, a Bomem spectrograph will be deployed in an effort to confirm the increase of OH
coincident with the meteor storm. In addition,
three mid-IR imagers will be deployed from FISTA with bandpass filters chosen to pick up the 3.4 um band,
in tsearch for organic matter release. Our equipment
continues to improve (our continuous digital recording software is much better
than during Leonid 99). One innovation we
have been developing (for reasons utterly unrelated to meteors) is the capability
to record our IR imagery at extremely high data rates, providing potentially a VERY
detailed time history of its spatial structure if a bright enough meteor passes its
field of view.
Bomem Interferometer 102 installed on FISTA
1998 Leonid AFRL/SDL Measurement Team: Sandra Nierman, Thomas Hudson, and Joseph Kristl