Thermospheric Gravity Wave Characteristics Obtained Using the Poker Flat Incoherent Scatter Radar

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Michael Negale, Center for Atmospheric and Space Sciences, Logan, UT, United States, Kim Nielsen, Utah Valley University, Orem, UT, United States, Michael J Taylor, Utah State Univ, Logan, UT, United States and Michael J Nicolls, SRI International, Menlo Park, CA, United States
Atmospheric gravity waves are known to play an important role in atmospheric circulation through momentum deposition in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) region (~80 – 110 km). Over the past decade, modeling and observational studies have shown that these waves can penetrate to high altitudes and play similar roles in the thermospheric region (~110 – 400 km). Several case studies have revealed their presence in the thermosphere, but the distributions and variability of thermospheric gravity wave parameters are currently unknown. Using methods developed by Nicolls and Heinselman (2007), we present new high-latitude thermospheric wave characteristic distributions obtained using the Poker Flat Incoherent Scatter Radar (PFISR) during a one year period from August 2010 – July 2011. Their winter season distributions (January 2010 – April 2011) are compared to recent results obtained using a co-located all sky airglow imager measuring the MLT gravity wave field.