Gardner notes that his team's finding of higher altitudes for Southern Hemisphere polar mesospheric
clouds contradicts data from satellite measurements.
SHIMMER, the Spatial Heterodyne Imager for Mesospheric
Radicals is the primary payload of STPSat-1, a small satellite launched in March 2007 with a minimum lifetime of one year.
The extended mission allowed SHIMMER to collect an additional 18 months of observations of Polar Mesospheric
Clouds which are being used to validate the Space Science Division's new high-altitude extension of the Navy's Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System (NOGAPS).
Orbital Designed, Manufactured and Tested AIM Satellite for NASA to Study Polar Mesospheric
He has worked on spacecraft rendezvous theory, terrestrial polar mesospheric
clouds, galactic astrophysics and studies of tenuous satellite atmospheres, including the atmosphere of the moon.
STPSat-1's payload comprises three experiments: the primary experiment, Spatial Heterodyne Imager for Mesospheric
Radicals (SHIMMER), is a high-resolution ultraviolet spectrometer based on the new optical technique known as Spatial Heterodyne Spectroscopy (SHS).
The scientific mission of the AIM satellite program is focused on the study of Polar Mesospheric
Clouds (PMCs) that form about 50 miles above the Earth's surface in the summer months, primarily in the polar regions.
The 194-pound Mesospheric
Aerosol-Genesis and Composition (MAGIC) experiment housed in the nose cone of the rocket is designed to collect dust particles in the mesospheric
range of the atmosphere.