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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 04 Oct 2018

Research article | 04 Oct 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Seasonal and intra-diurnal variability of small-scale gravity waves in OH airglow at two Alpine stations

Patrick Hannawald1, Carsten Schmidt2, René Sedlak1, Sabine Wüst2, and Michael Bittner1,2 Patrick Hannawald et al.
  • 1University of Augsburg, Germany – Institute of Physics
  • 2German Aerospace Center, Germany – German Remote Sensing Data Center

Abstract. Between December 2013 and August 2017 the instrument FAIM (Fast Airglow IMager) observed the OH airglow emission at two Alpine stations. One year of measurements was performed at Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany (48.09°N, 11.28°E) and two years at Sonnblick, Austria (47.05°N, 12.96°E). Both stations are part of the Network for the detection of mesospheric change (NDMC). The temporal resolution is two frames per second and the field of view is 55km × 60km and 75km × 90km at the OH layer altitude of 87km with a spatial resolution of 200m and 280m per pixel, respectively. This results in two dense datasets allowing precise derivation of horizontal gravity wave parameters. The analysis is based on a two-dimensional Fast Fourier Transform with fully automatic peak extraction. By combining the information of consecutive images time-dependent parameters such as the horizontal phase speed are extracted. The instrument is mainly sensitive to high-frequency small- and medium-scale gravity waves. A clear seasonal dependency concerning the meridional propagation direction is found for these waves in summer in direction to the summer pole. The zonal direction of propagation is eastwards in summer and westwards in winter. Investigations of the data set revealed an intra-diurnal variability, which may be related to tides. The observed horizontal phase speed and the number of wave events per observation hour are higher in summer than in winter.

Patrick Hannawald et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Patrick Hannawald et al.
Patrick Hannawald et al.
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Short summary
We use a near-infrared camera for the investigation of gravity waves. The camera observes the airglow layer which is used as a tracer for the dynamics. The images are processed, which includes the removal of the star background, and analysed with a 2D-Fast Fourier Transform and automatic derivation of the wave parameters. The results show a clear seasonal and intra-diurnal variability which is characterised in order to improve our understanding of gravity waves in the middle atmosphere.
We use a near-infrared camera for the investigation of gravity waves. The camera observes the...