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Use of O2 airglow for calibrating direct atomic oxygen measurements from sounding rockets
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
2009 (English)In: Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, ISSN 1867-1381, Vol. 2, 801-812 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Accurate knowledge about the distribution of atomic oxygen is crucial for many studies of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. Direct measurements of atomic oxygen by the resonance fluorescence technique at 130 nm have been made from many sounding rocket payloads in the past. This measurement technique yields atomic oxygen profiles with good sensitivity and altitude resolution. However, accuracy is a problem as calibration and aerodynamics make the quantitative analysis challenging. Most often, accuracies better than a factor 2 are not to be expected from direct atomic oxygen measurements. As an example, we present results from the NLTE (Non Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium) sounding rocket campaign at Esrange, Sweden, in 1998, with simultaneous O2 airglow and O resonance fluorescence measurements. O number densities are found to be consistent with the nightglow analysis, but only within the uncertainty limits of the resonance fluorescence technique. Based on these results, we here describe how better atomic oxygen number densities can be obtained by calibrating direct techniques with complementary airglow photometer measurements and detailed aerodynamic analysis. Night-time direct O measurements can be complemented by photometric detection of the O2 (b1g+X3g-) Atmospheric Band at 762 nm, while during daytime the O2 (a1ΔgX3g-) Infrared Atmospheric Band at 1.27 μm can be used. The combination of a photometer and a rather simple resonance fluorescence probe can provide atomic oxygen profiles with both good accuracy and good height resolution.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 2, 801-812 p.
Keyword [en]
Oxygen, Airglow, in situ measurements, Sounding rockets
National Category
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Research subject
Atmospheric Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25701ISI: 000278086100035OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-25701DiVA: diva2:200308
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8462Available from: 2009-01-29 Created: 2009-01-22 Last updated: 2010-01-21Bibliographically 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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