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Durham MF Radar


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Instrument/Model Description

These are monthly climatology neutral tidal winds in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere for data taken between 1978 and 1982 by the meteor wind radar at Durham, New Hampshire.

The meteor wind radar at Durham, New Hampshire (43.12 Deg.N, 70.94 Deg.W) has operated routinely during most years since 1974. The radar looks at 45 deg. elevation in the Northeast and Northwest directions with beamwidths of +-20 degrees. The system is a computer controlled coherent pulsed radar at 36.8 Mhz. Measurements are made of the direction cosines, slant range, and slant range doppler. Since a horizontal wind is assumed, only measurements with zenith angles less than 60 degrees are used in the tidal analysis. The height of the meteor trail reflection points have a Gaussian distribution centered at approximately 95 km with a standard deviation of approximately 9 km.

Significant results are achieved by averaging over 4 days. These are the 12 monthly climatologies created by binning 4-day averages over 5 years in the appropriate month. The tidal analysis is based on the method developed by Groves (1959) using 30 coefficients. The results are least mean square fits to the data. The error bars are about 8 m/s at 80 and 107 km, and are about 5 m/s at 95 km. The phases are given only to the nearest hour, which refers to Eastern Standard Time (EST = UT - 5 hrs). The local mean solar time for Durham is the Universal Time minus 4 hours and 44 minutes.

Operation of the UNH Meteor Wind Facility has been supported by the Atmospheric Science Section of the National Science Foundation and by the University of New Hampshire.


Clark, R. R. and J. E. Salah, Propagation of the solar semidiurnal tide in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere at mid latitudes, J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 96, No. A2, pp. 1129-1133.
Clark, R. R., The quasi 2-day wave at Durham (43 D.N.): solar and magnetic effects, J.A.T.P., Vol. 51, No. 7/8, pp. 617-622, 1989.
Clark, R. R., Upper atmosphere observations of waves and tides with the UNH Meteor Radar System at Durham 43 D. N. (1977, 1978 and 1979), Journal of Atmosperic and Terrestrial Physics, Vol. 45, No. 8/9, pp. 621-627, 1983.
Clark, R. R., Upper Atmospheric Winds January, 1977 to October, 1979. UNH Meteor Radar System at Durham (43 D. N., 71 D. W.), Technical Report No. 1, August 1, 1980, Antenna System Lab., UNH, ASL-MW-180.
Groves, G. V., A theory for determining upper atmosphere winds from radar observations on meteor trails, J. Atmos. Terr. Phys., 16, 344-356, 1959.
Manson, A. H. C.E. Meek, M. Massebeuf, J. L. Fellous, W. G. Elford, R. A. Vincent, R. L. Craig, R. G. Roper, S. Avery, B. B. Balsley, G. J. Fraser, M. J. Smith, R. R. Clark, S. Kato, T. Tsuda and A. Ebel, Mean winds of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (60-110 km): A global distribution from radar systems (MF, meteor, VHF), Adv. Space Res., Vol. 5, No. 7, pp 135-144, 1985.
A. H. Manson, C. E. Meek, H. Teitelbaum, F. Vial, R. Schminder, D. Kurschner, M. J. Smith, G. J. Fraser, and R. R. Clark, Climatologies of semi-diurnal and diurnal tides in the middle atmosphere (70-110 km) at middle latitudes (40-50), J. Atmos. Terr. Phys., 51, pp 579-593, 1989.
A. H. Manson, C. E. Meek, R. Schminder, D. Kurschner, R. R. Clark, H. G. Muller, R. A. Vincent, A. Phillips, G. J. Fraser, W. Singer, and E. S. Kazimirovsky, Tidal winds from the MLT global radar network during the first LTCS campaign -- September 1987, J. Atmos. Terr. Phys., 52, pp 175-183, 1990.
A. H. Manson, C. E. Meek, S. K. Avery, G. J. Fraser, R. A. Vincent, A. Phillips, R. R. Clark, R. Schminder, D. Kurschner, and E. S. Kazimirovsky, Tidal winds from the mesosphere, lower thermosphere global radar network during the second LTCS campaign: December 1988, J. Geophys. Res., 96, pp 1117-1127, 1991.

Summary Plots for Durham Meteor Wind Radar

-Revised 19 May 2000 by Barbara Emery