Common-volume measurements of mesospheric winds using radar and optical instruments: 1. Comparison of observations

J. E. Salah, L. P. Goncharenko, D. P. Sipler, R. R. Clark, R. J. Tate

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The Millstone Hill incoherent scatter radar (42.6°N, 71.5°W) and the nearby Durham meteor wind radar (43.1°N, 70.9°W) have been used to study the structure of the winds in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere and to investigate the propagation of tidal components from the mesosphere into the lower thermosphere. In general, good agreement is found between the tidal wind amplitudes and phases determined by the two radars, but occasionally, some discontinuities have been observed in the vertical structure of the tidal components in the 90-110 km region. In order to validate the accuracy of the two techniques and the methodologies used in determining neutral winds, two common-volume experiments were conducted in 1996 and 1997 in which the two radar beams were overlayed at an altitude of 100 km. The horizontal components of the measured radar line-of-sight velocities during day-time periods were then compared at the overlapping altitudes of 95-100 km. Night-time measurements were also made using a Fabry-Perot Interferometer co-located with the radar at Millstone Hill which observed the Doppler shift of the atomic oxygen green line emission in the mesosphere. Good overall agreement is found between the instruments within the statistical uncertainties of the measurement techniques, although some differences have been found that are explained by consideration of the data statistics, the exact overlap of common volume within the different beam sizes, and the presence of altitude gradients and small scale irregularities in the sampled volumes of the atmosphere. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1259-1271
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Nov 15 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science


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