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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 27, issue 3
Ann. Geophys., 27, 953–965, 2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: ECOMA/MASS: aerosol particles near the polar summer...

Ann. Geophys., 27, 953–965, 2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  02 Mar 2009

02 Mar 2009

The noctilucent cloud (NLC) display during the ECOMA/MASS sounding rocket flights on 3 August 2007: morphology on global to local scales

G. Baumgarten1, J. Fiedler1, K. H. Fricke2, M. Gerding1, M. Hervig3, P. Hoffmann1, N. Müller1, P.-D. Pautet4, M. Rapp1, C. Robert5, D. Rusch6, C. von Savigny5, and W. Singer1 G. Baumgarten et al.
  • 1Leibniz-Institut für Atmosphärenphysik e. V., 18225 Kühlungsborn, Germany
  • 2Physikalisches Institut der Universität Bonn, 53115 Bonn, Germany
  • 3GATS, Inc., Driggs, Idaho, 83422, USA
  • 4Utah State University, Center for Atmospheric and Space Sciences, Logan UT, 84322-4405, USA
  • 5Institut für Umweltphysik der Universität Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
  • 6Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80303, USA

Abstract. During the ECOMA/MASS rocket campaign large scale NLC/PMC was observed by satellite, lidar and camera from polar to mid latitudes. We examine the observations from different instruments to investigate the morphology of the cloud. Satellite observations show a planetary wave 2 structure. Lidar observations from Kühlungsborn (54° N), Esrange (68° N) and ALOMAR (69° N) show a highly dynamic NLC layer. Under favorable solar illumination the cloud is also observable by ground-based cameras. The cloud was detected by cameras from Trondheim (63° N), Juliusruh (55° N) and Kühlungsborn. We investigate planetary scale morphology and local scale gravity wave structures, important for the interpretation of the small scale rocket soundings. We compare in detail the lidar observations with the NLC structure observed by the camera in Trondheim. The ALOMAR RMR-lidar observed only a faint NLC during the ECOMA launch window, while the camera in Trondheim showed a strong NLC display in the direction of ALOMAR. Using the high resolution camera observations (t~30 s, Δx<5 km) and the wind information from the meteor radar at ALOMAR we investigate the formation and destruction of NLC structures. We observe that the NLC brightness is reduced by a factor of 20–40 within 100 s which can be caused by a temperature about 15 K above the frostpoint temperature. A horizontal temperature gradient of more than 3 K/km is estimated.

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