NASA Aeronomy of Ice In the Mesosphere (AIM) Mission Data
Entry ID: NASA_AIM_CIPS_DATA

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Summary
Abstract: [Source: AIM Mission Home Page, Hampton University, http://aim.hamptonu.edu/ ]

AIM is the first satellite mission dedicated to the study of noctilucent or “night-shining” clouds (NLCs) also called Polar Mesospheric clouds (PMCs). It has provided the first global-scale view of the clouds over the entire 2007 Northern Hemisphere season with an unprecedented resolution of 5 km by 5 km and is nearing completion of observations in the Southern Hemisphere season. Despite a significant increase in PMC research in recent years, relatively little is known about the basic physics of these clouds at ”the edge of space” and why they are changing. They have increased in brightness over time, are being seen more often and appear to be occurring at lower latitudes than ever before. The overall goal of the baseline mission is to determine why PMCs form and vary. Since the launch of AIM on April 25, 2007, significant progress has been made in achieving this goal and that progress continues at a rapid rate. The AIM data is of very high quality and has changed our view of PMCs and their environment after only one northern hemisphere (NH) season of observations. The startling similarity between the PMC structure observed by CIPS and that seen in tropospheric clouds suggests that the mesosphere may share some of the same dynamical processes responsible for weather near Earth’s surface. If this similarity holds up in further analysis, it introduces an entirely different view of potential mechanisms responsible for PMC formation and variability.

AIM has provided the most detailed picture of NH clouds ever collected:

- The clouds appear every day, are widespread and are highly variable on hourly to daily time scales.

- PMC brightness varies over horizontal scales of a few kilometers, and because of the AIM high horizontal resolution, we now know that over small regions the clouds are ten times brighter than measured by previous space-based instruments.

- A previously suspected, but never before seen, population of very small ice particles was measured that is believed to be responsible for strong radar echoes from the summertime mesosphere.

- Mesospheric ice occurs in one continuous layer extending from below the main peak at 83 km up to around 90 km.

-Mesospheric cloud structures, resolved for the first time by the CIPS imager, exhibit complex features present in normal tropospheric clouds.

Related URL
Link: GET DATA
Description: SOFIE, CIPS, CDE, and CVO data from Hampton University.


Link: GET DATA
Description: CIPS browse images, data, and tools from LASP Colorado State University.


Link: VIEW PROJECT HOME PAGE
Description: AIM Mission Home Page at Hampton University.


Link: VIEW PROJECT HOME PAGE
Description: AIM Project Home Page at LASP Colorado State University.


Link: VIEW PROJECT HOME PAGE
Description: NASA's AIM Mission Home Page.


Link: VIEW RELATED INFORMATION
Description: CIPS data product guide.


Link: VIEW RELATED INFORMATION
Description: Information about AIM data products.


Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: James M. Russell III, Principal Investigator
Dataset Title: NASA Aeronomy of Ice In the Mesosphere (AIM) Mission Data
Dataset Release Place: Hampton, Virginia, USA
Online Resource: http://aim.hamptonu.edu/


Location Keywords
VERTICAL LOCATION > MESOSPHERE


Science Keywords
ATMOSPHERE >AEROSOLS >CLOUD CONDENSATION NUCLEI    [Definition]
ATMOSPHERE >ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE >GRAVITY WAVE    [Definition]
ATMOSPHERE >CLOUDS >CLOUD PROPERTIES >CLOUD FREQUENCY    [Definition]
ATMOSPHERE >CLOUDS >CLOUD MICROPHYSICS >CLOUD DROPLET CONCENTRATION/SIZE    [Definition]
ATMOSPHERE >ATMOSPHERIC RADIATION >ALBEDO    [Definition]
ATMOSPHERE >ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY >OXYGEN COMPOUNDS >OZONE    [Definition]


ISO Topic Category
CLIMATOLOGY/METEOROLOGY/ATMOSPHERE
ENVIRONMENT


Platform
AIM >Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere    [Information]


Instrument
CIPS >Cloud Imaging and Particle Size    [Information]
SOFIE >Solar Occultation for Ice Experiment    [Information]
CDE >AIM Cosmic Dust Experiment    [Information]


Project
ESIP >Earth Science Information Partners Program    [Information]
AIM >Aeronomy of Ice In the Mesosphere    [Information]


Keywords
Polar Mesospheric Clouds
PMC


Data Set Progress
IN WORK


Data Center
AIM Mission, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado    [Information]
Data Center URL: http://lasp.colorado.edu/aim/

Data Center Personnel
Name: LASP/AIM MISSION
Phone: 303-492-6412
Contact Address:
Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics
AIM Mission
1234 Innovation Drive
City: Boulder
Province or State: CO
Postal Code: 80303-7814
Country: USA


AIM Mission, Center for Atmospheric Sciences, Hampton University    [Information]
Data Center URL: http://aim.hamptonu.edu/

Data Center Personnel
Name: BARBARA MAGGI
Phone: 757-727-5869
Email: barbara.maggi at hamptonu.edu
Contact Address:
AIM Education & Public Outreach Manager



Distribution
Fees: No Fee


Personnel
JAMES, DR. M. RUSSELL III
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Contact Address:
AIM Mission Principal Investigator


SCOTT BAILEY
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Email: baileys at vt.edu


Publications/References
Hampton University (2008-2011), View All AIM publications, http://aim.hamptonu.edu/library/index.html, Source: AIM Mission Home Page, Hampton University

Baumgarten, G., J. Fiedler, K. H. Fricke, M. Gerding, M. Hervig, P. Hoffmann, N. Muller, P.-D. Pautet, M. Rapp, C. Robert, D. Rusch, C. von Savigny5 , and W. Singer (2008), The noctilucent cloud (NLC) display during the ECOMA/MASS sounding rocket flights on August 3, 2007: Morphology on global to local scales, Ann Geophys

Benze, S., Cora E. Randall, Matthew T. DeLand, Gary E. Thomas, David W. Rusch, Scott M. Bailey, James M. Russell, III, William McClintock, Aimee W. Merkel, Chris Jeppesen (2009), Comparison of Polar Mesospheric Cloud Measurements from the Cloud Imaging and Particle Size Experiment and the Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Instrument in 2007, J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys., doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2008.07.014

Chandran, Amal, David Rusch, S. E. Palo, G. E. Thomas, M. Taylor (2009), Gravity wave observation from the Cloud Imaging and Particle Size (CIPS) Experiment on the AIM Spacecraft, J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys., doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2008.09.041

Bailey, M. Scott, Gary E. Thomas, David W. Rusch, Aimee W. Merkel, Chris Jeppesen, Justin N. Carstens, Cora E. Randall, William E. McClintock, and James M. Russell, III (2009), Phase Functions of Polar Mesospheric Cloud Ice as Observed by the CIPS Instrument on the AIM Satellite, J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys., doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2008.09.039

Stephen D. Eckermann, Karl W. Hoppel, Lawrence Coy, John P. McCormack, David E. Siskind, Kim Nielsen, Andrew Kochenash, Michael H. Stevens, Christoph R. Englert, Mark Hervig (2009), High-Altitude Data Assimilation System Experiments for the Northern Summer Mesosphere Season of 2007, J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys., doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2008.09.036

Gordley, L.L., Mark Hervig, Chad Fish, James Russell III, James Cook, Scott Hanson, Andrew Shumway, Scott Bailey, Greg Paxton,Lance Deaver, Tom Marshall, John Burton, Brian Magill, Chris Brown, Earl Thompson, and John Kemp (2008), The Solar Occultation For Ice Experiment (SOFIE), J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys., doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2008.07.012

Hervig, M.E., L.L. Gordley, M. Stevens, J.M. Russell, and S. Bailey (2009), Interpretation of SOFIE PMC measurements: Cloud identification and derivation of mass density, particle shape, and particle size, J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys., doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2008.07.009

Hervig, M.E., L.L. Gordley, M. Stevens, J.M. Russell, and S. Bailey (2009), SOFIE PMC measurements during the northern summer of 2007, J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys., doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2008.08.010

McClintock, William, David W. Rusch, Gary E. Thomas, Aimee W. Merkel, Mark R. Lankton, Virginia A. Drake, Scott M. Bailey, and James M. Russell III (2009), The Cloud Imaging and Particle Size Experiment On The Aeronomy Of Ice In The Mesosphere Mission: Instrument Concept, Design, Calibration, And On-Orbit Performance, J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys., doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2008.10.011

Merkel, W. Aimee, David W. Rusch, Scott E. Palo, James M. Russell III, and Scott M. Bailey (2009), Mesospheric planetary wave activity inferred from AIM-CIPS and TIMED-SABER for the northern summer 2007 PMC season, J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys., doi:10.1016/j.jasp.2006.05.01

Rusch, D. W., G. E. Thomas, W. McClintock, A. W. Merkel, S. M. Bailey, J. M. Russell III, C. E. Randall, C. Jeppesen, and M. Callan (2009), The Cloud Imaging and Particle Size Experiment on the aeronomy of ice in the Mesosphere mission: Cloud morphology for the northern 2007 season, J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys., doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2008.11.005

Russell III, James M., Scott M. Bailey, Mihaly Horanyi, Larry L. Gordley, David W. Rusch, Mark E. Hervig, Gary E. Thomas, Cora E. Randall, David E. Siskind, Michael H. Stevens, Michael E. Summers, Michael I. Taylor, Christoph R. Englert, Patrick J. Espy, William E. McClintock and Aimee W. Merkel (2009), Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM):Overview and early science results, J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys, doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2008.08.011

Robertson, S., M. Horanyi, S. Knappmiller, Z. Sternovsky, R. Holzworth, M. Shimogawa M. Friedrich, K. Torkar, J. Gumbel, L. Megner, G. Baumgarten, R. Latteck, M. Rapp, U.-P. Hoppe, and M. E. Hervig (2008), Mass analysis of charged aerosol particles in NLC and PMSE during the ECOMA/MASS campaign, Ann Geophys

Stevens, M. H., C. R. Englert, M. Hervig, S. V. Petelina, W. Singer, and K. Nielsen (2009), The diurnal variation of noctilucent cloud frequency near 55°N observed by SHIMMER, J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys, doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2008.10.009

Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2008-01-16
Last DIF Revision Date: 2012-02-01

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