Upper Atmospheric Planetary-Wave and Gravity-Wave Observations

C. G. Justus School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta 30332

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Arthur Woodrum School of Physics, Georgia Southern College, Statesboro 30458

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Abstract

Previously collected data on atmospheric pressure, density, temperature and winds between 25 and 200 km from sources including Meteorological Rocket Network data, ROBIN falling sphere data, grenade release and pitot tube data, meteor winds, chemical release winds, satellite data, and others were analysed by a daily-difference method, and results on the magnitude of atmospheric perturbations interpreted as gravity waves and planetary waves are presented. Traveling planetary-wave contributions in the 25–85 km range were found to have a significant height and latitudinal variation. It was found that observed gravity-wave density perturbations and wind are related to one another in the manner predicted by gravity-wave theory. It was determined that, on the average, gravity-wave energy deposition or reflection occurs at all altitudes except the 55–75 km region of the mesosphere.

Abstract

Previously collected data on atmospheric pressure, density, temperature and winds between 25 and 200 km from sources including Meteorological Rocket Network data, ROBIN falling sphere data, grenade release and pitot tube data, meteor winds, chemical release winds, satellite data, and others were analysed by a daily-difference method, and results on the magnitude of atmospheric perturbations interpreted as gravity waves and planetary waves are presented. Traveling planetary-wave contributions in the 25–85 km range were found to have a significant height and latitudinal variation. It was found that observed gravity-wave density perturbations and wind are related to one another in the manner predicted by gravity-wave theory. It was determined that, on the average, gravity-wave energy deposition or reflection occurs at all altitudes except the 55–75 km region of the mesosphere.

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