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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-2019-138
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-138
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 10 Apr 2019

Research article | 10 Apr 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Multistatic meteor radar observations of gravity wave-tidal interaction over Southern Australia

Andrew J. Spargo1, Iain M. Reid1,2, and Andrew D. MacKinnon1 Andrew J. Spargo et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, School of Physical Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, 5005, Australia
  • 2ATRAD Pty. Ltd., 20 Phillips St., Thebarton, 5031, Australia

Abstract. This paper assesses the ability of a recently-installed 55 MHz multistatic meteor radar to measure gravity wave-driven momentum fluxes around the mesopause, and applies it in a case study of measuring gravity wave forcing on the diurnal tide during a period following the autumnal equinox of 2018. The radar considered is in the vicinity of Adelaide, South Australia (34.9° S, 138.6° E) and consists of a monostatic radar and bistatic receiver separated by approximately 55 km.

The assessment shows that the inclusion of the bistatic receiver reduces the relative uncertainty of the momentum flux estimate from about 75 % to 65 % (for a flux magnitude of ~ 20 m2 s−2, one day's worth of integration, and for a gravity wave field synthesized from a realistic spectral model). This increase in precision appears to be entirely attributable to the increased number of meteor detections associated with the combined monostatic and bistatic receivers, rather than changes in the meteors' spatial distribution.

The case study reveals large modulations in the diurnal tidal amplitudes, with a maximum tidal amplitude of ~ 50 ms−1 and an associated maximum zonal wind velocity of around 140 ms−1. While the observed gravity wave forcing exhibits a complex relationship with the tidal winds during this period, the components of the forcing are seen to be approximately out of phase with the tidal winds above 88 km. No clear phase relationship has been observed below 88 km.

Andrew J. Spargo et al.
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Latest update: 20 Apr 2019
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Short summary
We simulate the ability of a recently-installed multistation meteor-detection radar to measure characteristics of turbulence in the Earth's lower ionosphere. After verifying that it performs reasonably well, we use the radar's data to study an interaction between turbulence and tidal effects. We performed the study because no one has yet applied a multistation radar to this problem before, and because multistation radars like this are becoming increasingly common worldwide.
We simulate the ability of a recently-installed multistation meteor-detection radar to measure...
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