Density, composition, and temperatures for satellite drag and remote sensing calculations


atmospheric density models

Accurate models of the density, composition, and temperature of the Earth's atmosphere, from ground through to exobase, are indispensible tools for space operations, remote sensing imagery analysis, and as source terms in modelling software that propagate light or radiation through the atmosphere.

The NRLMSISE-00 model was developed by the US Naval Research Laboratory. It is based on mass spectrometry and incoherent radar scatter data, includes drag and accelerometer data, and accounts for anomalous oxygen at high altitudes.

It is used to predict orbit decay due to drag, and is recommended as the standard for atmospheric composition by the COSPAR International Reference Atmosphere (CIRA) 2012 and the ISO 14222 Earth Atmosphere Density standard.

why use an api?

Many scientific aerospace models are written in legacy languages that require significant technical ability to install and integrate into existing software systems.

Amentum Aerospace uses such scientific models for technology development projects. Integration can be challenging, so we've developed APIs to make it easier for others.

Access the Atmosphere API here, free for low-volume research and development use. We hope they help in whatever project you are working on: satellite operations, remote sensing, propulsion system design, or some other application that we haven't thought of!

validation studies

We are validating the API calculations against published experimental data and benchmarking against other models.

Results and analyses are available for review on our online repository

The following is a sample result showing the thermospheric densities measured during the GOCE mission, alongside the NRLMSISE-00 model accessed through the Amentum Atmosphere API.