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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.
Research article
13 Mar 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
Limited angle tomography of mesoscale gravity waves by the infrared limb-sounder GLORIA
Isabell Krisch1, Jörn Ungermann1, Peter Preusse1, Erik Kretschmer2, and Martin Riese1 1Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute of Energy- and Climate Research, Stratosphere (IEK-7), Jülich, Germany
2Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe, Germany
Abstract. Three-dimensional measurements of gravity waves are required, in order to quantify their direction resolved momentum fluxes and get a better understanding of their propagation characteristics. Such 3-D measurements of gravity waves in the lowermost stratosphere can be provided by the airborne Gimballed Limb Observer for Radiance Imaging of the Atmosphere (GLORIA) using full angle tomography. Closed flight patterns of sufficient size are needed to acquire the full set of angular measurements for full angle tomography. These take about two hours and are not feasible everywhere due to scientific reasons or air traffic control restrictions. Hence, this paper investigates the usability of limited angle tomography for gravity wave research. Limited angle tomography uses only a limited set of angles for tomographic reconstruction and can be applied on linear flight patterns. A synthetic end-to-end simulation has been performed to investigate the sensitivity of limited angle tomography towards gravity waves with different wavelengths and orientations in respect to the flight path. For waves with wave fronts roughly perpendicular to the flight path, limited angle tomography and full angle tomography can derive wave parameters like wavelength, amplitude and wave orientation with similar accuracy. For waves with horizontal wavelength above 200 km and vertical wavelength above 3 km, the wavelengths can be retrieved with less than 10 % error, the amplitude with less than 20 % and the horizontal wave direction with an error below 10°. This is confirmed by a comparison of results obtained from full angle tomography and limited angle tomography for a real measurement case on 25 January 2016 over Iceland. The reproduction quality of gravity wave parameters with limited angle tomography, however, depends strongly on the orientation of the waves with respect to the flight path. Thus, full angle tomography might be preferable in cases where the orientation of the wave cannot be predicted or waves with different orientations exist in the same volume and thus the flight path cannot be adjusted accordingly. Also for low amplitude waves and short scale waves full angle tomography has advantages due to its slightly higher resolution and accuracy.
Citation: Krisch, I., Ungermann, J., Preusse, P., Kretschmer, E., and Riese, M.: Limited angle tomography of mesoscale gravity waves by the infrared limb-sounder GLORIA, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss.,, in review, 2018.
Isabell Krisch et al.
Isabell Krisch et al.
Isabell Krisch et al.


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