Full name

The Far Ultra Violet Imaging Spectrograph

Lead Institution

NRL logo

UC Berkeley
Space Sciences Laboratory

Principal Investigator


The FUV instrument takes 2D images of the Earth’s horizon in the Far ultraviolet. The imager is pointing approximately 90˚ to the spacecraft motion, similar to looking out of the side window of a car as it drives down the road. Onboard electronics read the image 8 times per second and perform Time Delay Integration (TDI) to remove the motion-blur from the images. A turret is used to steer the field of view of the instrument left to right to ensure it always looks along the magnetic meridian (towards the magnetic pole).

What does it do?

The primary objective for the FUV imager is to determine daytime thermospheric composition and altitude profiles of the nighttime ion density through imaging the Earth’s upper atmosphere (during the day) and ionosphere (during the night).


The Far Ultra Violet Imaging Spectrograph

ICON skin is based on Greytness by Adammer
Background image, courtesy of NASA, is a derivitave of photograph taken by D. Pettit from the ISS, used under Creative Commons license