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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-424
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
01 Dec 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
3-D tomographic reconstruction of atmospheric gravity waves in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT)
Rui Song1,2, Martin Kaufmann1, Manfred Ern1, Jörn Ungermann1, Guang Liu3, and Martin Riese1,2 1Institute of Energy and Climate Research, Stratosphere (IEK-7), Research Centre Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany
2Institute for Atmospheric and Environmental Research, University of Wuppertal, 42119 Wuppertal, Germany
3Key Laboratory of Digital Earth Sciences, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Abstract. Gravity waves (GWs) have been intensively studied over recent decades because of their dominant role in the dynamics of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT). The momentum deposition caused by breaking GWs determines the basic structure and drives the large-scale circulation in the MLT. Satellite observations provide a way to qualify the properties and effects of GWs on a global scale. As GWs can propagate vertically and horizontally in the atmosphere, resolving both horizontal and vertical wavelengths is important for the quantification of a wave. However, this can hardly be achieved by one instrument with a good spatial coverage and resolution. In this paper, we propose a new observation strategy, called sweep mode, for a real three-dimensional (3-D) tomographic reconstruction of GWs in the MLT by modifying the observation geometry of conventional limb sounding measurements. It enhances the horizontal resolution that typical limb sounders can achieve, while at the same time retaining the good vertical resolution they have. This observation strategy is simulated for retrieving temperatures from measurements of the rotational structure of the O2 A-band airglow. The idea of this observation strategy is to sweep the line-of-sight (LOS) of the limb sounder horizontally across the orbital track during the flight. Therefore, two-dimensional (2-D) slices, i.e. vertical planes, that reveal the projection of GWs can be observed in the direction along- and across the orbital track, respectively. The 3-D wave vector is then reproduced by combining the projected 2-D wave slices in the two directions. The feasibility of this sweep mode tomographic retrieval approach is assessed using simulated measurements. It shows that the horizontal resolution in both along- and across-track directions are affected by an adjustable turning angle, which also determines the spatial coverage of this observation mode. The retrieval results can reduce the errors in deducing momentum flux substantially by providing an unbiased estimation of the real horizontal wavelength of a wave.

Citation: Song, R., Kaufmann, M., Ern, M., Ungermann, J., Liu, G., and Riese, M.: 3-D tomographic reconstruction of atmospheric gravity waves in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT), Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-424, in review, 2017.
Rui Song et al.
Rui Song et al.
Rui Song et al.

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Short summary
In this paper, we propose a new observation strategy, called sweep mode, for a real three-dimensional tomographic reconstruction of gravit waves in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere by modifying the observation geometry of conventional limb sounding measurements. It enhances the horizontal resolution that typical limb sounders can achieve, while at the same time retaining the good vertical resolution they have.
In this paper, we propose a new observation strategy, called sweep mode, for a real...
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