In order to obtain information both of aurora and airglow in one image by the same detector, a PLCI based on liquid crystal plate LCP and super second-generation image intensifier SSGII is proposed in this research. The detection thresholds of the CCD for aurora and airglow are calculated. For the detectable illumination range of , the corresponding electron count is for every pixel of CCD. The structure and work principle of the PLCI are described. An LC is introduced in the front of CCD to decrease the intensities of aurora in overexposure areas by means of controlling transmittances pixel by pixel, while an image intensifier is set between the LC and CCD to increase the intensity of the weak airglow. The modulation transfer function MTF of this system is calculated as 0.391 at a Nyquist frequency of . The curve of transmittance with regard to gray level for the LC is obtained by calibration experiment. Based on the design principle, the prototype is made and used to take photos of objects under strong light greater than . The clear details of “西安理工大学XauT” presented in the image indicate that the PLCI can greatly improve the imaging quality. The theoretical calculations and experiment results prove that this device can extend the dynamic range and it provides a more effective method for upper atmospheric wind measurement.
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