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Rothera meteor radar data, Rothera Station, Antarctica, 2005-2007


The Skiymet meteor radar was deployed at Rothera (68S, 68W) in Feb 2005. The radar measures the winds, waves and tides of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) regions of the atmosphere. The radar routinely makes three types of measurement: 1. horizontal winds at heights of ~ 75 - 105 km from the drifting of meteors as they are carried by the winds of the MLT; 2. atmospheric temperature from the decay rate of meteor echoes; 3. meteor fluxes, derived from several thousand meteors per day.

The radar has been used with an existing, identical, radar in the Arctic at the conjugate latitude of 68N, 21E (Esrange) to produce accurate climatologies of winds, waves and tides - and to quantify the differences between the Antarctic and Arctic MLT (using identical radars eliminates otherwise problematic measurement biases). Other studies will carefully examine meteor/MF-radar instrument biases and apply a developing technique to continually measure temperature using the decay rate of meteor echoes. The radar complements the existing OH temperature spectrometer and imaging airglow camera at Rothera.

horizontal winds, mesosphere, meteor fluxes, meteor radar, radar biases, thermosphere, waves and tides

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