Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Space Studies

First Advisor

Paul S. Hardersen


The University of North Dakota (UND) Observatory will commence solar observations with the commissioning of a DayStar 0.4-Angstrom Hα filter attached to a Meade LX200 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. Imaging will occur using a Finger Lakes Instrumentation PL16803 front illuminated, monochrome CCD/filter wheel with a neutral density filter. An interference eliminator is also present in the optical train. This effort is part of a larger effort to develop an independent, externally-funded solar physics group at UND. This work is the first effort at gaining direct experience with solar instrumentation, observations, calibrations, and post-image processing. The primary goals of this Master's thesis project at the UND Department of Space Studies is to a) qualitatively evaluate site seeing and b) apply a variety of image processing algorithms to attempt to better define the dimensions of chromospheric features. A critical aspect of this effort will be to evaluate the scientific usefulness of the resulting datasets. This program will lay the foundation for an ISOON-like system at the UND Observatory that will provide continuous and automated solar monitoring. Images will be acquired, calibrated on-the-fly, and posted to the UND Observatory web site. An image archive will be created and an image portal developed that will provide public access to the acquired images