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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2012-10-05
    Description: The space shuttle launched for the last time on 8 July 2011. As with most shuttle launches, the three main engines injected about 350 t of water vapor between 100 and 115 km off the east coast of the United States during its ascent to orbit. We follow the motion of this exhaust with a variety of satellite and ground-based data sets and find that (1) the shuttle water vapor plume spread out horizontally in all directions over a distance of 3000 to 4000 km in 18 h, (2) a portion of the plume reached northern Europe in 21 h to form polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs) that are brighter than over 99% of all PMCs observed in that region, and (3) the observed altitude dependence of the particle size is reversed with larger particles above smaller particles. We use a one-dimensional cloud formation model initialized with predictions of a plume diffusion model to simulate the unusually bright PMCs. We find that eddy mixing can move the plume water vapor down to the mesopause near 90 km where ice particles can form. If the eddy diffusion coefficient is 400 to 1000 m2/s, the predicted integrated cloud brightness is in agreement with both satellite and ground-based observations of the shuttle PMCs. The propellant mass of the shuttle is about 20% of that from all vehicles launched during the northern 2011 PMC season. We suggest that the brightest PMC population near 70°N is formed by space traffic exhaust.
    Print ISSN: 0148-0227
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
    Published by Wiley on behalf of American Geophysical Union (AGU).
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2016-06-07
    Description: The vibration rotation bands of the hydroxyl radical are the strongest features in the night airglow and are exceeded in intensity in the dayglow only by the infrared atmospheric bands of oxygen. The variation of intensity during evening twilight is discussed. Using a ground-based Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS), hydroxyl intensity measurements as early as 3 deg solar depression were made. Models of the twilight behavior show that this should be sufficient to provide measurement of the main portion of the twilight intensity change. The instrument was equipped with a liquid nitrogen-cooled germanium detector whose high sensitivity combined with the efficiency of the FTS technique permits spectra of the region 1.1 to 1.6 microns at high signal-to-noise to be obtained in two minutes. The use of a polarizer at the entrance aperture of the instrument reduces the intensity of scattered sunlight by a factor of at least ten for zenith observations.
    Keywords: GEOPHYSICS
    Type: International Council of Scientific Unions Middle Atmosphere Program. Handbook for MAP, Vol. 10; p 176-178
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-08-26
    Description: Using a novel Fourier fitting method we combine two years of mid-latitude temperature measurements at 87 km from the High Resolution Doppler Imager, the Colorado State University lidar, and the Peach Mountain Interferometer. After accounting for calibration bias, significant local-time variations on the order of 10 K were observed. Stationary planetary waves with amplitudes up to 10 K were observed during winter, with weaker wave amplitudes occurring during other seasons. Because of calibration biases among these instruments, we could estimate the annual mean temperature to no better than 193.5 plus or minus 8.5 K.
    Keywords: Theoretical Mathematics
    Type: AD-A526698 , Paper 1999GL010821 , Geophysical Research Letters (ISSN 0094-8276); 27; 14; 2109-2112
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-08-15
    Description: The encounter of comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter during July, 1994, provided an unprecedented opportunity to observe any potential perturbations in the Jovian plasma torus and extended sodium cloud as the comet entered the planet's atmosphere. Though the most obvious affect of the encounter was the distinctive response of the visible disk to the impact of the cometary fragments, the potential disruptions to the extended Jovian atmosphere and the restoration of the system to equilibrium also provided a test for the current interpretation of the Jovian plasma torus and sodium magneto-nebula. The observations that were performed for this grant were made by a complementary group of researchers and could not have been made if the individuals worked singly. In a sense, the exciting opportunity provided by this astronomical event also provided a mechanism to test the potential of pooling limited resources from several sources to construct a state-of-the-art spectrally resolving instrument, to acquire the necessary time and resources from institutions that maintain world-class optical telescopes, to perform the observations with the assistance of students, and to analyze the data sets.
    Keywords: Lunar and Planetary Exploration
    Type: NASA/CR-96-206084 , NAS 1.26:206084
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-08-15
    Description: The National Collaboratory concept has great potential for enabling 'critical mass' working groups and highly interdisciplinary research projects. We report here on a new program to build a prototype collaboratory using the Sondrestrom Upper Atmospheric Research Facility in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland and a group of associated scientists. The Upper Atmospheric Research Collaboratory (UARC) is a joint venture of researchers in upper atmospheric and space science, computer science, and behavioral science to develop a testbed for collaborative remote research. We define the 'collaboratory' as an advanced information technology environment which enables teams to work together over distance and time on a wide variety of intellectual tasks. It provides: (1) human-to-human communications using shared computer tools and work spaces; (2) group access and use of a network of information, data, and knowledge sources; and (3) remote access and control of instruments for data acquisition. The UARC testbed is being implemented to support a distributed community of space scientists so that they have network access to the remote instrument facility in Kangerlussuaq and are able to interact among geographically distributed locations. The goal is to enable them to use the UARC rather than physical travel to Greenland to conduct team research campaigns. Even on short notice through the collaboratory from their home institutions, participants will be able to meet together to operate a battery of remote interactive observations and to acquire, process, and interpret the data.
    Keywords: Documentation and Information Science
    Type: ; 105-112
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-07-12
    Description: Results are presented on simultaneous observations of neutral winds and electric fields at spaced locations in the dawn auroral oval, carried out during a chemical release experiment on March 21, 1987. The observed plasma drifts and electron densities indicated the presence of a significant coupling between plasma and neutrals at the altitude of the F region but little coupling in the lower E region. The wind variations in the height range between 95 and 130 km were suggestive of the variations and amplitudes expected if the flow was dominated by the semidiurnal tide. However, a comparison of the flow with the model developed by Forbes (1982) showed that the phase differs by 4-5 hours from the predictions. Moreover, the measured divergence and vorticity in the flow are much larger than those predicted by the model, indicating that higher-order modes than those treated by Forbes may contribute significantly to the high-latitude thermospheric flow.
    Keywords: GEOPHYSICS
    Type: AD-A219585 , Journal of Geophysical Research (ISSN 0148-0227); 94; 17235-17
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-07-11
    Description: A Fabry Perot etalon, consisting of two spaced and reflective glass flats, provides the mechanism by which high resolution spectroscopy may be performed over narrow spectral regions. Space based applications include direct measurements of Doppler shifts of airglow absorption and emission features and the Doppler broadening of spectral lines. The technique requires a high degree of parallelism between the two flats to be maintained through harsh launch conditions. Monitoring and adjusting the plate figure by illuminating the Fabry Perot interferometer with a suitable monochromatic source may be performed on orbit to actively control of the parallelism of the flats. This report describes the use of such a technique in a laboratory environment applied to a piezo-electric stack attached to the center of a Fabry Perot etalon.
    Keywords: Optics
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Fabry-Perot interferometer observations of the mesospheric hydroxyl emission and the lower thermospheric OI (5577A) emission have been conducted from an airglow observatory at a dark field site in southeastern Michigan for the past several years. The primary functions of the observatory are to provide a database for correlative observations with the UARS satellite and to provide a synoptic measurement program for the coupling energetics and dynamics of atmospheric regions effort, An intensive operational effort between May 1993 and July 1994 has resulted in a substantial data set from which neutral winds have been determined from the bifilter acquisition sequence. A 'best fit' analysis in the least squares sense of the simultaneous measurements of the neutral winds to a 12-hour periodicity has provided amplitude and phase parameters for the semidiurnal tide as well as a measure of the mean wind. The measured tidal amplitude is greater at the higher altitude, though the seasonal behavior at both altitudes is similar with greater amplitudes during August/September and April/May. Both meridional and zonal wind components are consistent with a semidiurnal tidal description during the entire observational sequence except for the May to July 1993 period. The mean winds show annual variation in the meridional flow, being equatorward from May to October and poleward during the winter. The zonal flow is primarily eastward during the entire observational window with higher speed flows during May/June at the higher attitude and June/July at the lower altitude. A comparison with a semidiurnal tidal model indicates that the measured tidal amplitudes are a factor of 2 times greater, while the phases show similar equinoctial transitions.
    Keywords: Geophysics
    Type: NASA-CR-205128 , NAS 1.26:205128 , Paper-95JD02729 , Journal of Geophysical Research (ISSN 0148-0227); 100; D12; 25,855-25,866
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Fabry-Perot interferometer observations of the thermospheric O I (6300 A) emission have been conducted from an airglow observatory at a dark field site in the southeastern Yukon Territory, Canada, for the period November 1991 to April 1993. The experiment operated in unattended, remote fashion, has resulted in a substantial data set from which mean neutral winds have been determined. Dependent upon geomagnetic activity, the nocturnal location of the site is either equatorward of the auroral oval or within oval boundaries. The data set is rich enough to permit hourly binning of neutral winds based upon the K(sub p) geomagnetic disturbance index as well as the season. For cases of low geomagnetic activity the averaged vector horizontal neutral wind exhibits the characteristics of a midlatitude site displaying antisunward pressure-gradient-driven winds. As the geomagnetic activity rises in the late afternoon and evening winds slowly rotate sunward in an anticlockwise direction, initially remaining near 100 m/s in speed but eventually increasing to 300 m/s for K(sub p) greater than 5. For the higher levels of activity the observed neutral wind flow pattern resembles a higher-latitude polar cap pattern characterized by ion drag forcing of thermospheric neutral gases. In addition, rotational Coriolis forcing on the dusk side enhances the ion drag forcing, resulting in dusk winds which trace out the clockwise dusk cell plasma flow. On the dawn side the neutral winds also rotate in an anticlockwise direction as the strength of geomagnetic disturbances increase. Since the site is located at a transition latitude between the midlatitude and the polar cap the data set provides a sensitive test for general circulation models which attempt to parameterize the contribution of magnetospheric processes. A comparison with the Vector Spherical Harmonic (VSH) model indicates several regions of poor correspondence for December solstice conditions but reasonable agreement for the vernal equinox.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: NASA-CR-205304 , NAS 1.26:205304 , Paper-95JA02683 , Journal of Geophysical Research (ISSN 0148-0227); 101; A1; 241-259
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-08-28
    Description: During December 1988, 24 hours of darkness and clear sky conditions permitted continuous observations of the O I(6300 A) airglow by a Fabry-Perot interferometer located at Thule Air Base, Greenland. Thus a continuous record of the F region neutral winds was obtained for that month. During this same time period, a digital ionosonde located at Qanaq, Greenland (110 km north of Thule Air Base), was in operation measuring electron density profiles and F region ion drifts. This combination of ground-based observations allowed the investigation of ion/neutral coupling at a temporal resolution of about 15 min. Interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) data from the IMP 8 satellite were also available from December 16 to 24 and indicated intervals of B(sub z) northward IMF conditions during this period. Here we investigate the observed response of the neutral wind to convection changes in the ion drift inside the polar cap for southward and northward IMF B(sub z) conditions. In particular, we establish a control day illustrating the typical antisunward neutral wind and ion drift patterns observed for southward B(sub z) over Thule and Qanaq, and we compare it with observations made when the IMF B(sub z) is directed northward. The observations during periods of northward B(sub z) display sunward directed ion drifts over the polar cap accompanied by decreasing antisunward directed neutral winds. We investigate these times of northward B(sub z) further and demonstrate that the ion drag term alone cannot describe the observed response in the neutral wind during northward IMF.
    Keywords: GEOPHYSICS
    Type: Journal of Geophysical Research (ISSN 0148-0227); 100; A7; p. 12,189-12,199
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