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Daily records of the dynamics, ionization and structure of the Antarctic mesosphere from Scott Base
Entry ID: K055_1982_2003_NZ_1


Summary
Abstract: An investigation into the ionospheric D-region of the atmosphere was initiated in 1982 with the installation of radar equipment (Polarimeter and HF radar) at Scott Base. The radar operated by remote sensing of winds at altitudes of 60-120km. The radar is part of an international global scale radar network for the measurement of prevailing winds, atmospheric waves and atmospheric tides. The purpose of the project was to gain insight into, and an understanding of, the mechanisms which influence the behaviour of the polar mesosphere. The investigation is primarily concerned with the ionisation of the earth’s atmosphere in the height interval from 40km to 120km. This particular portion of the atmosphere includes the normally neutral stratosphere, the weakly ionized mesosphere and the E-region of the ionosphere. The investigation utilises a 2.9MHz backscatter radar system for which the high power pulse transmitter is located at Scott Base and the receiving instrumentation is installed at Arrival Heights. The reason for conducting this experimental programme in Antarctica is the fact that the earth’s magnetic field is almost perpendicular to the earth’s surface in the polar regions. Consequently, highly energetic charged particles from the sun or other extra-terrestrial sources are permitted to penetrate deep into the earth’s atmosphere where they release their energy and cause ionization of the atmosphere that is electrically neutral at temperate latitudes. Therefore, the main objectives of the programme are to obtain data from which the ionisation profile in the specified height interval of the atmosphere can be computed and to interpret these data in terms of the physical processes which govern the Antarctic mesosphere including: (1) Determination of the normal (undisturbed) photo ionization characteristics of the polar mesosphere on a diurnal basis during perpetual daylight conditions, (2) determination of the residual ionization during perpetual darkness, and its variation with solar or magnetic time, (3) determination of the scattering characteristics of mesospheric irregularities, (4) investigation of ionization (magnitude and height) during disturbed ionospheric conditions associated with auroral or polar-cap absorption and magnetic storms and the investigations of precursors to these events, (5) the investigation of phenomena which appear to be unique to the Antarctic mesosphere, such as the occurrence of a low altitude ionization layer, and its dependence on season of the year and local magnetic time and K-index, (6) the collection of data which pertain to ‘once only’ and unanticipated events, such as a massive solar flare, a severe magnetic disturbance, or a stratospheric warming event and (7) study of ionospheric winds and the effects of wave motion in the D-region. In order to achieve these goals, data are collected for twelve minutes every hour of the day and for every day of the year. Continuous records have been maintained and are ongoing. The same records are recorded from Birdlings Flat, Canterbury, New Zealand and are used for comparisons.

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Geographic Coverage
 N: -77.85 S: -77.85  E: 166.75  W: 166.75
 Min Altitude: 40 KM  Max Altitude: 100 KM

Temporal Coverage
Start Date: 1982-01-11


Location Keywords
CONTINENT > ANTARCTICA > SCOTT BASE
GEOGRAPHIC REGION > POLAR


Data Resolution
Temporal Resolution: 12 minutes every hour of the day


Science Keywords
ATMOSPHERE >ATMOSPHERIC WINDS >UPPER LEVEL WINDS    [Definition]
ATMOSPHERE >ATMOSPHERIC WINDS >WIND PROFILES    [Definition]
ATMOSPHERE >ALTITUDE >MESOPAUSE    [Definition]


ISO Topic Category
CLIMATOLOGY/METEOROLOGY/ATMOSPHERE


Platform
GROUND STATIONS    [Information]


Instrument
POLARIMETERS    [Information]


Project
COSPAR >Committee on Space Research    [Information]
ICESTAR >Interhemispheric Conjugacy Effects in Solar-Terrestrial and Aeronomy Research    [Information]
CAWSES >Climate And Weather of the Sun-Earth System    [Information]


Quality
This data set goes back to the 1980s and was primarily the work of Drs Andreas von Biel and Dr Graeme Fraser. The recording equipment over the years has been serviced and upgraded periodically. Gaps may exist in some of the data set.
Polarimeter data was collected in a format which required an algorithm to transform the results into usable data. A copy of the results of this data from 1983-2003 is held by the University of Canterbury Department of Physics and Astronomy. A further copy is held by the primary investigator Dr Andreas von Biel and Antarctica New Zealand. Please contact any of the personnel for access to this set of data.
All MF radar data is held by the University of Canterbury Department of Physics and Astronomy. Please contact Dr Adrian McDonald for more information.


Keywords
middle atmosphere
dynamics
ionospheric D-region
ionization
mesosphere


Data Set Progress
IN WORK


Data Center
Antarctica New Zealand, New Zealand Antarctic Institute, New Zealand    [Information]
Data Center URL: http://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/

Data Center Personnel
Name: SHULAMIT GORDON
Phone: +64 3 358 0200
Fax: +64 3 358 0211
Email: s.gordon at antarcticanz.govt.nz
Contact Address:
Antarctica New Zealand
Private Bag 4745
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand


Personnel
ANDREAS VON BIEL
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Email: andreas.vonbiel at canterbury.ac.nz


GRAHAME FRASER
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Phone: +64 3 364 2987
Email: g.fraser at phys.canterbury.ac.nz
Contact Address:
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Canterbury,
Private Bag 4800
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand


ADRIAN MCDONALD
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Phone: +64 3 364 2281
Fax: +64 3 364 2469
Email: a.mcdonald at phys.canterbury.ac.nz
Contact Address:
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand


CEISHA POIROT
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: +64 3 358 0200
Fax: +64 3 358 0211
Email: c.poirot at antarcticanz.govt.nz
Contact Address:
Antarctica New Zealand
Private Bag 4745
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand


SHULAMIT GORDON
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: +64 3 358 0200
Fax: +64 3 358 0211
Email: s.gordon at antarcticanz.govt.nz
Contact Address:
Antarctica New Zealand
Private Bag 4745
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand


Publications/References
Von Biel, H.A. Canterbury D-region investigation in Antarctica. New Zealand physicist 1(October): 4, 1978.

Avery, S.K. Vincent, R.A. Phillips, A. Manson, A.H. Fraser, G.J. High-latitude tidal behaviour in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. Journal of atmospheric and terrestrial physics 51(7/8): 595-608, 1989.

Fraser, G.J. Summer circulation in the Antarctic middle atmosphere. New Zealand Antarctic record 4(3): 1-3, 1983.

Fraser, G.J. 1984. Summer circulation in the Antarctic middle atmosphere. J. Atmos. Terr. Phys. 46: 143.

Fraser, G.J. Vincent, R.A. Manson, A.H. Meek, C.E. Clark, R.R. Inter-annual variability of tides in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. Journal of atmospheric and terrestrial physics 51(7/8): 555-567, 1989.

Fraser, G.J. Monthly mean winds in the mesosphere at 44S and 78S. Pure and applied geophysics 130(2/3): 291-301, 1989.

Fraser, G.J. Long-term variations in mid-latitude southern hemisphere mesospheric winds. Advances in space research 10(10): (10)247-(10)250, 1990.

Khan, U. 1988. Seasonal and height dependence of turbulence in the Middle atmosphere. MSc thesis, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Fraser, G.J. Khan, U. Semidiurnal variations in the time scale of irregularities near the Antarctic summer mesopause. Radio science 25(5): 997-1003, 1990.

Von Biel, H.A. An investigation of the Antarctic mesosphere using partial reflections. Journal of atmospheric and terrestrial physics 37(8): 889-897, 1989.

Von Biel, H.A. The geomagnetic time and position of a terrestrial station. Journal of atmospheric and terrestrial physics 52(9): 687-694, 1990.

Von Biel, H.A. Assessing the correlated signal power in D-region partial reflections. Journal of atmospheric and terrestrial physics 54(11/12): 1523-1526, 1992.

Von Biel, H.A. Ionisation below 55km in the Antarctic mesosphere. ANARE research notes 88: 180-190, 1992.

Von Biel, H.A. Ionisation in the Antarctic stratosphere. Journal of atmospheric and terrestrial physics 54(3/4): 235-242, 1992.

Von Biel, H.A. Low altitude ionisation in the Antarctic mesosphere. In: Proceedings of the South Pacific STEP Workshop, Melbourne, 1992. pp.70-73.

Von Biel, H.A. Ground based radar investigation of the Antarctic mesosphere. Advances in space research 16(5): 91-98, 1995.

von Biel, H.A. Back-scattering of MF electromagnetic energy from the Antarctic stratosphere. Advances in space research 24(12): 1669-1677, 1999.

von Biel, H.A. The influence of neutral atmospheric dynamics on MF differential absorption results. Journal of atmospheric and solar-terrestrial physics 65: 139-147, 2003.

von Biel, H.A. The interpretation of Antarctic mesospheric partial reflection data. In: CRL ‘Alaska Project’, Joint Upper Atmosphere Working Groups Meeting, March 7-8, 2000. Tokyo: Communications Research Laboratory. 2000. pp.249-256

Grant, J., Grainger, R.G., Lawrence, B.N., Fraser, G.J., von Biel, H.A., Heuff, D.N. And Plank, G.E. 2004. Retreival of mesospheric electron densities using an optimal estimation incerse method. Journal of atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics 66: 381-392.

Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2009-01-28
Last DIF Revision Date: 2016-01-27



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