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Proceedings Paper

Remote sensing of gravity-wave intensity and temperature signatures at mesopause heights using the nightglow emissions
Author(s): Michael J. Taylor; William R. Pendleton Jr.; S. H. Seo; Richard H. Picard
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Paper Abstract

During the past four decades a variety of optical remote sensing techniques have revealed a rich spectrum of wave activity in the upper atmosphere. Many of these perturbations, with periodicites ranging from ~5 min to several hours and horizontal scales of a few ten's of km to several thousands km, are due to freely propagating buoyancy (or acoustic-gravity waves), and forced tidal oscillations. Optical observations of the spatial and temporal characteristics of these waves in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) region (~80-100 km) are facilitated by several naturally occurring, vertically distinct nightglow layers. This paper describes the use of state-of-the-art ground-based CCD imaging techniques to detect these waves in intensity and temperature. All-sky (180°) image measurements from Bear Lake Observatory, Utah are used to illustrate the characteristics of small-scale, short period (< 1 hour) waves that are most frequently observed at MLT heights including a particular set of ducted wave motions, possibly associated with mesospheric bores. These results are then contrasted with measurements of mesospheric temperature made using a separate imaging system capable of determining induced temperature amplitudes of much larger-scale wave motions and investigating night-to-night and seasonal variability in mesospheric temperature.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 April 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4882, Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere VII, (18 April 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.463369
Show Author Affiliations
Michael J. Taylor, Utah State Univ. (United States)
William R. Pendleton Jr., Utah State Univ. (United States)
S. H. Seo, Utah State Univ. (United States)
Richard H. Picard, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4882:
Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere VII
Klaus P. Schaefer; Olga Lado-Bordowsky; Adolfo Comeron; Richard H. Picard, Editor(s)

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