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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-73
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-73
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  06 May 2020

06 May 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal AMT and is expected to appear here in due course.

Variability of the Brunt-Väisälä frequency at the OH-airglow layer height at low and mid latitudes

Sabine Wüst1, Michael Bittner1,2, Jeng-Hwa Yee3, Martin G. Mlynczak4, and James M. Russell III5 Sabine Wüst et al.
  • 1Deutsches Fernerkundungsdatenzentrum, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, 82234 Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 2Institut für Physik, Universität Augsburg, 86159 Augsburg, Germany
  • 3Applied Physics Laboratory, The Johns Hopkins University, Laurel, Maryland, USA
  • 4NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, USA
  • 5Center for Atmospheric Sciences, Hampton, USA

Abstract. Airglow spectrometers as they are operated within the Network for the Detection of Mesospheric Change (NDMC, https://ndmc.dlr.de, for example, allow the derivation of rotational temperatures which are equivalent to the kinetic temperature, local thermodynamic equilibrium provided. Temperature variations at the height of the airglow layer are amongst others caused by gravity waves. However, airglow spectrometers do not deliver vertically-resolved temperature information. This is an obstacle for the calculation of the density of gravity wave potential energy from these measurements.

As Wüst et al. (2016) showed, the density of wave potential energy can be estimated from data of OH* airglow spectrometers if co-located TIMED-SABER (Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics Dynamics, Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry) measurements are available since they allow the calculation of the Brunt-Väisälä frequency. If co-located measurements are not available, a climatology of the Brunt-Väisälä frequency is an alternative. Based on 17 years of TIMED-SABER temperature data (2002–2018) such a climatology is provided here for the OH* airglow layer height and for a latitudinal longitudinal grid of 10° × 20° at mid and low latitudes. Additionally, climatologies of height and thickness of the OH* airglow layer are calculated.

Sabine Wüst et al.

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Sabine Wüst et al.

Sabine Wüst et al.

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Latest update: 21 Sep 2020
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Short summary
With airglow spectrometers the temperature in the upper mesosphere/lower thermosphere can be derived each night. The data allow to estimate the amount of energy which is transported by small-scale atmospheric waves, known as gravity waves. In order to do this, information about the Brunt–Väisälä frequency and its evolution during the year is necessary. This is provided here for low and mid latitudes based on 18 years of satellite data.
With airglow spectrometers the temperature in the upper mesosphere/lower thermosphere can be...
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