Radar meteor decay rate variability and atmospheric consequences
- University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
Abstract. The reasons for scatter in plots of log(inverse decay times) vs. height for radio meteor echoes are examined, and an explanation for the characteristics is offered. Effects like temperature variability, pressure variation, angular detection accuracy, pulse length, phase errors, plasma processes and variation in meteoroid metallic content are considered. Using computer simulations the observed scatter is reproduced to good accuracy, and then these results are utilized to develop a new procedure that can be used to determine temperatures in the meteor region. These same studies also permit determination of some limited information about the nature of the diffusive expansion process and the variability in the metallic content of meteors. The impact of the quality of phase calibration of interferometric radars on accurate reproduction of atmospheric temperatures is also examined.