Behavior of Smoke Trails, 30 to 70 km

James C. Marshall Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories, Bedford, Mass.

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Abstract

This preliminary study is concerned with proving the smoke trail as a usable tool in measuring total atmospheric motion, and developing a technique for the three-dimensional analysis of smoke trail data in the 30–65 km altitude region. The field experiment and data reduction techniques are explained. The trail is shown to be a reliable tracer of atmospheric motion and the analysis of only one trail indicates the rather startling fact that vertical motions are present at all altitudes sampled. Extreme vertical motions >5 m sec−1 are present even in the thermally stable atmosphere below the stratopause.

Abstract

This preliminary study is concerned with proving the smoke trail as a usable tool in measuring total atmospheric motion, and developing a technique for the three-dimensional analysis of smoke trail data in the 30–65 km altitude region. The field experiment and data reduction techniques are explained. The trail is shown to be a reliable tracer of atmospheric motion and the analysis of only one trail indicates the rather startling fact that vertical motions are present at all altitudes sampled. Extreme vertical motions >5 m sec−1 are present even in the thermally stable atmosphere below the stratopause.

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