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PMC Turbo: Studying Gravity Wave and Instability Dynamics in the Summer Mesosphere using Polar Mesospheric Cloud Imaging and Profiling from a Stratospheric Balloon

Fritts, David C. and Miller, Amber and Kjellstrand, Bjorn and Geach, Christopher and Williams, Bifford P. and Kaifler, Bernd and Kaifler, Natalie and Jones, Glenn and Rapp, Markus and Limon, Michele and Reimuller, Jason and Wang, Ling and Hanany, Shaul and Gisinger, Sonja and Zhao, Yucheng and Stober, Gunter and Randall, Cora E. (2019) PMC Turbo: Studying Gravity Wave and Instability Dynamics in the Summer Mesosphere using Polar Mesospheric Cloud Imaging and Profiling from a Stratospheric Balloon. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-ATMOSPHERES, 124 (12), pp. 6423-6443. Wiley. doi: 10.1029/2019JD030298. ISSN 2169-897X.

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Official URL: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2019JD030298


The Polar Mesospheric Cloud Turbulence experiment (PMC Turbo) was designed to observe and quantify the dynamics of small-scale gravity waves (GWs) and instabilities leading to turbulence in the upper mesosphere during polar summer using instruments aboard a stratospheric balloon. The PMC Turbo scientific payload comprised seven high-resolution cameras and a Rayleigh lidar. Overlapping wide and narrow camera field-of-views from the balloon altitude of ~38 km enabled resolution of features extending from ~20 m to ~100 km at the PMC layer altitude of ~82 km. The Rayleigh lidar provided profiles of temperature below the PMC altitudes and of the PMCs throughout the flight. PMCs were imaged during an ~5.9-day flight from Esrange, Sweden to N. Canada in July 2018. These data reveal sensitivity of the PMCs and the dynamics driving their structure and variability to tropospheric weather and larger-scale GWs and tides at the PMC altitudes. Initial results reveal strong modulation of PMC presence and brightness by larger-scale waves, significant variability in the occurrence of GWs and instability dynamics on timescales of hours, and a diversity of small-scale dynamics leading to instabilities and turbulence at smaller scales. At multiple times, the overall field-of-view was dominated by extensive and nearly continuous GWs and instabilities at horizontal scales from ~2-100 km, suggesting sustained turbulence generation and persistence. At other times, GWs were less pronounced and instabilities were localized and/or weaker, but not absent. An overview of the PMC Turbo experiment motivations, scientific goals, and initial results is presented here.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/127576/
Document Type:Article
Title:PMC Turbo: Studying Gravity Wave and Instability Dynamics in the Summer Mesosphere using Polar Mesospheric Cloud Imaging and Profiling from a Stratospheric Balloon
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Fritts, David C.GATS Inc., Boulder, CO, USAUNSPECIFIED
Miller, AmberColumbia Univ., New York, NY, USAUNSPECIFIED
Kjellstrand, BjornColumbia Univ., New York, NY, USAUNSPECIFIED
Geach, ChristopherUniv. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USAUNSPECIFIED
Williams, Bifford P.GATS Inc., Boulder, CO, USAUNSPECIFIED
Kaifler, NatalieDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3118-6480
Jones, GlennColumbia Univ., New York, NY, USAUNSPECIFIED
Rapp, MarkusDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-1508-5900
Limon, MicheleColumbia Univ., New York, NY, USAUNSPECIFIED
Reimuller, JasonIntegr. Space. Serv., Boulder, CO, USAUNSPECIFIED
Wang, LingGATS Inc., Boulder, CO, USAUNSPECIFIED
Hanany, ShaulUniv. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USAUNSPECIFIED
Gisinger, SonjaDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-8188-4458
Zhao, YuchengUtah State Univ., Logan, UT, USAUNSPECIFIED
Stober, GunterLeibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics, KühlungsbornUNSPECIFIED
Randall, Cora E.Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USAUNSPECIFIED
Date:26 June 2019
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1029/2019JD030298
Page Range:pp. 6423-6443
Keywords:gravity wave breaking, Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities, momentum fluxes, energy deposition, PMC imaging
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Middle Atmosphere
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics
Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Lidar
Deposited By: Kaifler, Dr. Natalie
Deposited On:27 May 2019 11:57
Last Modified:19 Nov 2021 20:30

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