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A Simulation Study of Space-based Observations of Gravity Waves in the Airglow using Observed ALOHA-93 Wave Parameters
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
  • Michael P. Hickey, Ph.D., Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • J. S. Brown, Clemson University
Submitting Campus
Daytona Beach
Physical Sciences
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Publication/Presentation Date

We use gravity wave parameters derived from the ALOHA-93 campaign to model four gravity waves in airglow emissions as observed from the ground to numerically predict whether these waves could have been observed from space. In spite of encountering critical levels, some waves may still be observed in the airglow provided the critical level lies within the airglow emission region. One of the four waves experiences a critical level in the lower region of an airglow layer such that the disturbance to the volume emission rate would be effectively limited to a short distance along a satellite line of sight. The effect of this is to mitigate the effects of destructive interference in the airglow making the wave more observable from space. For this particular wave the amplitude is derived by normalizing the model-derived airglow fluctuation amplitude to that observed from the ground during the ALOHA-93 campaign. The model then provides momentum and energy fluxes as a function of height as well as the flux divergences, from which the mean state forcing is evaluated. The results suggest that the observed wave could provide significant mean state forcing. Therefore, we conclude that some waves experiencing critical level interactions in the airglow regions are not only likely to be important to the momentum balance of the upper mesosphere/lower thermosphere region but also are more likely to be observed from space.

Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Grant or Award Name
NASA NAG5-7592, NAG5-10251, NAG5-7592 and NSF ATM-9816159
Citation Information
Hickey, M. P., and J. S. Brown, A simulation study of space-based observations of gravity waves in the airglow using observed ALOHA-93 wave parameters, J. Geophys. Res., 107(A12), 1431, doi:10.1029/2001JA009225, 2002.