Determination of meteor-head echo trajectories using the interferometric capabilities of MAARSY
Abstract. During the flight of a meteoroid through the neutral atmosphere, the high kinetic energy is sufficient to ionize the meteoric constituents. Radar echoes coming from plasma irregularities surrounding the meteoroids are called meteor-head echoes, and can be detected by HPLA radar systems. Measurements of these echoes were conducted with MAARSY (Middle Atmosphere Alomar Radar System) in December 2010. The interferometric capabilities of the radar system permit the determination of the meteor trajectories within the radar beam with high accuracy. The received data are used to gain information about entry velocities, source radiants, observation heights and other meteoroid parameters. Our preliminary results indicate that the majority of meteors have masses between 10−10 and 10−3 kg and the mean masses of the sporadic meteors and Gemenids meteors are ∼10−8 kg.