Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2020-81
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2020-81

  08 Dec 2020

08 Dec 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

Neutral air turbulence in the mesosphere and associated polar mesospheric summer echoes (PMSEs)

Alireza Mahmoudian1, Mike J. Kosch2,3,4, Wayne A. Scales5, Michael T. Rietveld6, and Henry Pinedo7 Alireza Mahmoudian et al.
  • 1Institute of Geophysics, University of Tehran, Iran
  • 2Department of Physics, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
  • 3South African National Space Agency (SANSA), Hermanus, South Africa
  • 4Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa
  • 5Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Tech
  • 6EISCAT Scientific Association, Ramfjordmoen, Norway
  • 7Department of Physics and Technology, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway

Abstract. This paper presents the first simultaneous four radar frequency observations of the PMSE region under varying neutral air turbulence conditions. Radar frequencies of 8, 56, 224, and 930 MHz are used in this study. Three days of experimental observations associated with EISCAT are presented. Numerical simulations of mesospheric dusty/ice plasma associated with the observed radar frequencies are presented. The effect of neutral air turbulence on the generation and strength of plasma density perturbations associated with PMSE using four radar frequencies and in the presence of various dust parameters is investigated. Using the model it is shown that the well-known neutral air turbulence in presence of heavy dust particles, so-called fossil turbulence, can largely explain the observed radar cross-section at four radar frequencies. The effect of initial turbulence amplitude along with dust charging and diffusion in the presence of various dust parameters is investigated using the computational model. Specifically, the response of diffusion to charging time scales, plasma density fluctuation amplitude to the background dusty plasma parameters are discussed. Several key parameters in dusty plasma responsible for the PMSE observations are determined.

Alireza Mahmoudian et al.

 
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Alireza Mahmoudian et al.

Alireza Mahmoudian et al.

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Short summary
The polar mesospheric summer echoes (PMSE) are very strong radar echoes observed in the frequency range of 2 MHz up to 1 GHz. Such radar echoes are attributed to the ice clouds formed in the mesosphere and are widely believed to link to global climate change. PMSEs are coherent echoes produced by plasma density fluctuations at half the radar wavelengts. This paper investigates the unresolved problem of short durability of plasma fluctuations at smaller wavelengths in upper atmospheric physics.