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Rocket-borne in situ measurements of meteor smoke: Charging properties and implications for seasonal variation
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2010 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, Vol. 115, D00I16- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Rocket-borne observations of meteoric smoke particles (MSPs) are presented from three campaigns at polar latitudes (69 degrees N) in September 2006, and in the summers of 2007 and 2008. MSPs are detected using a novel technique based on photoelectron emission from the particles after stimulation by UV photons emitted by a xenon flashlamp. Resulting photoelectron currents are shown to be proportional to particle volume density. September results match model predictions qualitatively at altitudes from 65 to 85 km while measurements at higher altitudes are contaminated by photoelectrons from NO and O-2((1)Delta(g)). Contamination below this altitude can be excluded based on concurrent satellite observations. The observations show a large variability from flight to flight. Part of this variability can be attributed to differences in the charging of MSPs during day and night. Finally we find that MSP volume density in summer can exceed that during September. Analyzing model simulations of the global transport and microphysics of these particles, we show that our observations are in agreement with the model predictions, even though number densities of particles with radii >1 nm, which have long been thought to be suitable condensation nuclei for mesospheric ice particles, show the opposite behavior. It is shown that this discrepancy is caused by the fact that even larger particles (similar to 3 nm) dominate the volume density and that transport affects these different particle sizes in different ways. These results reinforce previous model findings according to which seasonal MSP variability is mainly driven by the global circulation and corresponding transport.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 115, D00I16- p.
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Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-49679DOI: 10.1029/2009JD012725ISI: 000277478700002OAI: diva2:379556
authorCount :12Available from: 2010-12-17 Created: 2010-12-17 Last updated: 2010-12-17Bibliographically approved

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Gumbel, Jörg
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Department of Meteorology
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