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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-334
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-334
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 16 Nov 2018

Research article | 16 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Simulation study for ground-based Ku-band microwave observations of ozone and hydroxyl in the polar middle atmosphere

David A. Newnham1, Mark A. Clilverd1, Michael Kosch2,3, and Pekka T. Verronen4 David A. Newnham et al.
  • 1British Antarctic Survey (BAS), High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, United Kingdom
  • 2Physics Department, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YB, United Kingdom
  • 3South African National Space Agency (SANSA), Hospital Street, Hermanus 7200, South Africa
  • 4Space and Earth Observation Centre, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. The Ku-band microwave frequencies (10.70–14.25 GHz) overlap emissions from ozone (O3) at 11.072 GHz and hydroxyl radical (OH) at 13.441 GHz. These important chemical species in the polar middle atmosphere respond strongly to high latitude geomagnetic activity associated with space weather. Atmospheric model calculations predict that energetic electron precipitation (EEP) driven by magnetospheric sub storms produces large changes in polar mesospheric O3 and OH. The EEP typically peaks at geomagnetic latitudes ~ 65° and evolves rapidly with time longitudinally and over the geomagnetic latitude range 60°–80°. Previous atmospheric modelling studies have shown that during sub storms OH abundance can increase by more than an order of magnitude at 64–84 km and mesospheric O3 losses can exceed 50 %. In this work, an atmospheric simulation and retrieval study has been performed to determine the requirements for passive microwave radiometers capable of measuring diurnal variations in O3 and OH profiles from high latitude northern hemisphere and Antarctic locations to verify model predictions. We show that, for a 11.072 GHz radiometer making 6 h spectral measurements with 10 kHz frequency resolution and root mean square baseline noise of 1 mK, O3 could be profiled over 8 × 10−4–0.22 hPa (~ 98–58 km) with 10–17 km height resolution and ~ 1 ppmv uncertainty. For the equivalent 13.441 GHz measurements with vertical sensor polarisation, OH could be profiled over 3 × 10−3–0.29 hPa (~ 90–56 km) with 10–17 km height resolution and ~ 3 ppbv uncertainty. The proposed observations would be highly applicable to studies of EEP, atmospheric dynamics, planetary scale circulation, chemical transport, and the representation of these processes in polar and global climate models. Such observations would provide a relatively low cost alternative to increasingly sparse satellite measurements of the polar middle atmosphere, extending long-term data records and also providing ground truth calibration data.

David A. Newnham et al.
David A. Newnham et al.
Data sets

Model data for simulating atmospheric microwave spectra at 11.072 GHz and 13.441 GHz and performing retrievals of ozone (O3) and hydroxyl (OH) vertical profiles D. Newnham, P. Verronen, and A. Seppälä https://doi.org/10.5285/57858a9a-d814-412c-8e79-9a542cd055d4

David A. Newnham et al.
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Short summary
A simulation study has been carried out to investigate the potential for observing ozone and hydroxyl radical abundances in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere using ground based passive microwave radiometry. In the polar middle atmosphere these chemical species respond strongly to geomagnetic activity associated with space weather. The results show that measuring diurnal variations in ozone and hydroxyl from high latitude northern hemisphere and Antarctic locations would be possible.
A simulation study has been carried out to investigate the potential for observing ozone and...
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