Sunday, 9 February 2003
Development of a new meteor radar for measuring upper atmosphere winds
Our understanding of the troposphere and stratosphere when compared to our knowledge of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT ~80-110 km) region is limited. This research attempts to fill this observational knowledge gap by helping in the development of a new 40.475MHz meteor radar located at Platteville, Colorado, that will be used to study the MLT circulation and wave motions. These studies provide clues to answer questions about this region. In particular, wind measurements are useful in determining the physics and dynamics of the MLT, and their impacts on space weather and climate. These measurements can be used to study the astronomical characteristics of meteoroids. The 40.475MHz meteor radar measures electro magnetic scatter from ionized trails left by meteoroids impinging the earth's upper atmosphere in the height range between 70-110km. The ionized meteor trail is carried along (advected) by the electrically neutral atmospheric wind; therefore, by observing how the meteor trail drifts with time, deductions can be made about the speed and direction of the neutral wind at the altitude at which the meteor was observed. I will be presenting the development process of the new 40.475MHz meteor radar and preliminary results of meteor observations done by the 50MHz meteor radar.