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Observations of positively charged nanoparticles in the nighttime polar mesosphere
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
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2005 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 32, L23821- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present results of in situ measurements of charged nanoparticles, electrons, and positive ions obtained during a sounding rocket flight in October 2004 from Kiruna, Sweden, under nighttime conditions. The particle measurement reveals positive charge signatures in the altitude range between 80 and 90 km corresponding to peak charge number densities of ∼100 e/cm3 at around 86 km. Aerodynamical analysis of the sampling efficiency of our instrument reveals that the particles must have been larger than 2 nm assuming spherical particles with a density of 3 g/cm3. The plasma environment of the observed particles is dominated by negative and positive ions, with only few free electrons. A calculation of the mean particle charge expected for particles in a plasma consisting of electrons and positive and negative ions shows that the presence of sufficiently heavy and numerous negative ions (i.e., m n > 300 amu and λ ≥ 50) can explain the observed positive particle charge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 32, L23821- p.
National Category
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Research subject
Atmospheric Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25699DOI: 10.1029/2005GL024676OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-25699DiVA: diva2:200306
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8462Available from: 2009-01-29 Created: 2009-01-22 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Rocket-borne in situ measurements in the middle atmosphere
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Rocket-borne in situ measurements in the middle atmosphere
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Earth's mesosphere and lower thermosphere in the altitude range 50-130 km is a fascinating part of our atmosphere. Complex interactions between radiative, dynamical, microphysical and chemical processes give rise to several prominent phenomena, many of those centred around the mesopause region (80-100 km). These phenomena include noctilucent clouds, polar mesosphere summer echoes, the ablation and transformation of meteoric material, and the Earth’s airglow. Strong stratification and small scale interactions are common features of both these phenomena and the mesopause region in general. In order to study interactions on the relevant spatial scales, in situ measurements from sounding rockets are essential for mesospheric research.

This thesis presents new measurement techniques and analysis methods for sounding rockets, thus helping to improve our understanding of this remote part of the atmosphere. Considering the need to perform measurements at typical rocket speeds of 1 km/s, particular challenges arise both from the design of selective, sensitive, well-calibrated instruments and from perturbations due to aerodynamic influences. This thesis includes a quantitative aerodynamic analysis of impact and sampling techniques for meteoric particles, revealing a distinct size discrimination due to the particle flow. Optical techniques are investigated for mesospheric ice particle populations, resulting in instrument concepts for accessing smaller particles based on Mie scattering at short ultraviolet wavelengths. Rocket-borne resonance fluorescence measurements of atomic oxygen are critically re-assessed, leading to new calibration concepts based on photometry of O2 airglow emissions.

The work presented here also provides important pre-studies for the upcoming PHOCUS rocket campaign from Esrange in July 2010. PHOCUS will address the interaction between three major mesospheric players: meteoric smoke, noctilucent clouds and gas-phase chemistry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Meteorologiska institutionen (MISU), 2009. 59 p.
Keyword
rocket measurements, noctilucent clouds, meteoric smoke, nightglow, mesosphere, aerodynamics
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Atmospheric Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8462 (URN)978-91-7155-813-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-02-20, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 12 A, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-01-29 Created: 2009-01-22Bibliographically approved

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