Articles | Volume 5, issue 10
Research article
 | Highlight paper
19 Oct 2012
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 19 Oct 2012

Combined wind measurements by two different lidar instruments in the Arctic middle atmosphere

J. Hildebrand, G. Baumgarten, J. Fiedler, U.-P. Hoppe, B. Kaifler, F.-J. Lübken, and B. P. Williams

Abstract. During a joint campaign in January 2009, the Rayleigh/Mie/Raman (RMR) lidar and the sodium lidar at the ALOMAR Observatory (69° N, 16° E) in Northern Norway were operated simultaneously for more than 40 h, collecting data for wind measurements in the middle atmosphere from 30 up to 110 km altitude. As both lidars share the same receiving telescopes, the upper altitude range of the RMR lidar and the lower altitude range of the sodium lidar overlap in the altitude region of ≈80–85 km. For this overlap region we are thus able to present the first simultaneous wind measurements derived from two different lidar instruments. The comparison of winds derived by RMR and sodium lidar is excellent for long integration times of 10 h as well as shorter ones of 1 h. Combination of data from both lidars allows identifying wavy structures between 30 and 110 km altitude, whose amplitudes increase with height. We have also performed vertical wind measurements and measurements of the same horizontal wind component using two independent lasers and telescopes of the RMR lidar and show how to use this data to calibrate and validate the wind retrieval. For the latter configuration we found a good agreement of the results but also identified inhomogeneities in the horizontal wind at about 55 km altitude of up to 20 ms−1 for an integration time of nearly 4 h. Such small-scale inhomogeneities in the horizontal wind field are an essential challenge when comparing data from different instruments.