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First simultaneous retrievals of horizontal and vertical structures of Polar Mesospheric Clouds from Odin/OSIRIS tomography
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
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2013 (English)In: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, ISSN 1364-6826, E-ISSN 1879-1824, Vol. 104, 213-223 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Limb-scanning satellites can provide global information about the vertical structure of Polar Mesospheric Clouds. However, information about horizontal structures usually remains limited. In eighteen days during the northern hemisphere summers of 2010 and 2011, the Odin satellite was operated in a special mesospheric mode with short limb scans limited to the altitude range of Polar Mesospheric Clouds. For Odin's Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imager System (OSIRIS) this provides multiple views through a given cloud volume, which forms a basis for tomographic analyses of the vertical/horizontal cloud structures. Here we present an algorithm for a tomographic analysis of mesospheric clouds based on maximum probability techniques. We also present the first simultaneously retrieved vertical and horizontal Polar Mesospheric Cloud structures. The findings show that the tomographic algorithm is able to locate detailed structures such as tilts, stratifications, or holes that cannot be analyzed by other limb, nadir, or ground-based measurements. We find a mean peak altitude of the clouds to be 83.6 km. We identify horizontal patches down to sizes of 300 km, which corresponds to a horizontal resolution that is limited by the available number of limb scans.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 104, 213-223 p.
Keyword [en]
Middle atmosphere, Noctilucent clouds, Polar Mesospheric Clouds, Tomography, Remote sensing
National Category
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-98091DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2013.06.013ISI: 000327232100020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-98091DiVA: diva2:682499
Note

AuthorCount:6;

Available from: 2013-12-27 Created: 2013-12-27 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Tomographic views of the middle atmosphere from a satellite platform
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tomographic views of the middle atmosphere from a satellite platform
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The middle atmosphere is a very important part of the Earth system. Until recently, we did not realize the importance of the structure of this vaporous shell and of the fundamental role it plays in both creating and sustaining life on the planet. Thanks to the development and improvement of new sounding methods and techniques, our knowledge of the composition of the atmosphere has become more detailed than ever before. We have also learned how to reveal complex interactions between different species and how they react to the incoming solar radiation.

The middle part of the Earth’s atmosphere serves as a host for the Polar Mesospheric Clouds. These clouds consist of a thin layer of water-ice particles, only exsisting during the summer months and only close to the poles. There are indications that the occurrence of Polar Mesospheric Clouds may be linked to climate change. It has been pointed out that the first sightings coincide with the industrial revolution. Satellite observations have shown that Polar Mesospheric Clouds have become brighter and possibly more widely distributed during the 20th century. The clouds might therefore be suited as indicators of the variability of the climate - a good reason for studying this night-shimmering phenomena. The clouds can also be used as a proxy for middle atmospheric dynamics. In order to fully utilize Polar Mesospheric Clouds as tracers for atmospheric variability and dynamics, we need to better understand their local properties.

The Optical Spectrograph and Infra-Red Imager System (OSIRIS) is one of two instruments installed on the Odin satellite. The optical spectrograph of this instrument observes sunlight scattered by the atmosphere and thus the Polar Mesospheric Clouds. This thesis deals with a tomographic technique that can reconstruct both horizontal and vertical structures of the clouds by using observations from various angles of the atmospheric region. From this information, microphysical properties such as particle sizes and number densities are obtained.

The tomographic technique presented in this thesis also provides a basis for a new satellite concept - MATS. The idea behind the MATS satellite mission is to analyze wave activity in the atmosphere over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, based on the scientific heritage from Odin/OSIRIS and the tomographic algorithms presented in this thesis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, 2014. 53 p.
Keyword
Atmosphere, Mesosphere, Noctilucent Clouds, Polar Mesospheric Clouds, Tomography, Remote sensing, Odin, OSIRIS
National Category
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Research subject
Atmospheric Sciences and Oceanography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106833 (URN)978-91-7447-974-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-10-03, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
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Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper3: Submitted. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-09-11 Created: 2014-08-23 Last updated: 2014-10-22Bibliographically approved

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