Uncertainties of Momentum Flux and Accelerations Forced by Dissipating Gravity Waves in the Upper Mesosphere as Measured by Nightglow

Friday, 19 December 2014
Fabio Vargas and Gary R Swenson, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Urbana, IL, United States
Gravity wave observable parameters are commonly obtained from spatial/temporal variations of the nightglow radiance recorded in all-sky images. With these parameters, key atmospheric quantities associated with wave energy dissipation are estimated. However, derived dynamic quantities are affected by uncertainties that have been crudely documented in the scientific literature. By using methods of error analysis, we have investigated the uncertainties in gravity wave parameters, modeling/measuring their magnitude for temporal/spatial wave scales frequently recorded in nightglow images. The uncertainty equations demonstrated can be easily implemented in parameter estimation schemes by other aeronomy groups observing gravity waves via nightglow imagery.