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PMC-Turbo: a balloon-borne Mission to image gravity waves and turbulence in polar mesospheric clouds

Kaifler, Bernd and Fritts, David C. and Miller, Amber and Limon, Michele and Jones, Glenn and Kjellstrand, Bjorn and Williams, Bifford P. and Wang, Ling and Reimuller, Jason and Hanany, Shaul and Geach, Christopher and Taylor, M. (2017) PMC-Turbo: a balloon-borne Mission to image gravity waves and turbulence in polar mesospheric clouds. 13th International Workshop on Layered Phenomena in the Mesopause Region (LPMR), 18.-22. Sep. 2017, Kühlungsborn, Germany. (Unpublished)

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Official URL: https://www.iap-kborn.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Current_issue/Workshops/LPMR2017/data/abstracts/abstract_73.html


PMC-Turbo is a balloon-borne experiment that will fly at an altitude between 35 and 40 km. It is designed to record gravity wave events in polar mesospheric clouds with high spatial and temporal resolution as they unfold across a large field of the sky. The project is motivated by the serendipitous observation of PMCs during the balloon flight of EBEX, an observational cosmology experiment which flew in 2013 at an altitude of about 35 km. EBEX included two star cameras, each of which had a field of view of 4 by 3 degrees, a resolution of 2.5 m at 80 km altitude, and an image cadence of 30 seconds. Even though EBEX was not designed to observe PMCs, instability and turbulent structures were visible with features at scales down to 20 m in the star camera images. However, it is difficult to put the images in context due to the inconsistent pointing, slow image cadence, and the narrow field of view. PMC-Turbo was designed leverage the strengths of the EBEX star cameras to observe gravity wave events at various length scales. This requires capturing a wide view while remaining sensitive to small features, as well as recording images at a high cadence. It carries seven cameras, four of which are wide field cameras that together cover a field of view of about 150 by 40 degrees with an 8 m per pixel resolution. Cameras with narrow field lenses provide smaller fields of view of 10 by 15 degrees with about 3 m per pixel resolution and are situated within in the larger field of view. The cameras can sustain 3.5 frames per second and can capture bursts of images up to 8 frames per second. The payload also carries BOLIDE, a Rayleigh lidar from the DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics and an airglow camera from Utah State University. These instruments will provide additional context to observed events in the form of thermal profiles and infrared mapping. The Balloon Lidar Experiment BOLIDE is a miniaturized Rayleigh backscatter lidar developed for PMC-Turbo that will provide observations of PMC with unprecedented resolution and signal to noise ratio. PMC-Turbo is scheduled to fly next year from either Sweden or Antarctica. We anticipate a fourteen day flight over Antarctica, and we expect to capture about 14 million images. An arctic flight would last around 5 days, but we anticipate several gravity wave events during this time. In addition to lab testing of our equipment, we have had opportunities to collect data with the PMC-Turbo instruments in the field. This December we will fly one camera as a piggyback on the Super Tiger payload from Antarctica. In July, we used several cameras on the ground to capture PMC images in High Level, Alberta. We hope to resolve tomography from the images captured during that campaign. If we fly from Sweden, we plan to coordinate ground-based tomographic imaging with the balloon flight.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/114378/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:PMC-Turbo: a balloon-borne Mission to image gravity waves and turbulence in polar mesospheric clouds
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Kaifler, Bernddlr, ipahttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5891-242X
Fritts, David C.gats inc./boulderUNSPECIFIED
Miller, AmberUniversity of Southern CaliforniaUNSPECIFIED
Limon, MicheleColumbia UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Jones, GlennColumbia UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Kjellstrand, BjornColumbia UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Williams, Bifford P.gats inc./boulderUNSPECIFIED
Wang, Linggats inc./boulderUNSPECIFIED
Reimuller, JasonIntegr. Space. S.UNSPECIFIED
Hanany, ShaulUniversity of MinnesotaUNSPECIFIED
Geach, ChristopherUniversity of MinnesotaUNSPECIFIED
Taylor, M.utah state universityUNSPECIFIED
Date:20 September 2017
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:balloon, middle atmosphere, polar mesospheric clouds, noctilucent cloud, camera, lidar, Antarctica
Event Title:13th International Workshop on Layered Phenomena in the Mesopause Region (LPMR)
Event Location:Kühlungsborn, Germany
Event Type:Workshop
Event Dates:18.-22. Sep. 2017
Organizer:Leibniz-Institut für Atmosphärenphysik, Kühlungsborn
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):Vorhaben Mittlere Atmosphäre
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Lidar
Deposited By: Kaifler, Dr. Natalie
Deposited On:19 Oct 2017 13:48
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:11

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