Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Glen P. Perram, PhD


Measurement of the vibration and rotation bands of mesospheric hydroxyl radicals (OH) has been conducted during the past two decades using ground-based and space-based interferometers to take temperature and wind measurements from 70-100km in altitude. Gravity waves that pass through the mesosphere can be measured by determining the variance over time of the rotational temperature of the OH emissions. Several attempts were made to take spectrum measurements of the nightglow from hydroxyl radicals in the mesosphere using a custom hardware configuration that included a telescope and grating monochrometer optimized for the visible and near infrared. Quantifying gravity wave activity was the ultimate objective of this experiment. No spectrum of OH nightglow was recorded. The instrumentation was not sensitive enough to pick up the weak signal. This thesis is primarily a characterization of the equipment, its capabilities, and its limitations.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number