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Journal/Book Title/Conference

2016 Joint CEDAR-GEM Workshop, Santa Fe, NM

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There are relatively few instruments that have the capabilities to make near continuous measurements of the mesosphere-lower-thermosphere (MLT) region. Rayleigh-scatter (RS) and resonance lidars, particularly sodium (Na) resonance lidar, have been the two dominant ground-based techniques for acquiring mesosphere and MLT vertical temperature profiles, respectively, for more than two decades. With these measurements, the dynamics and long-term temperature trends of the MLT region can be studied. For the first time, we will present simultaneous, night-time averaged temperatures acquired from the same observational site, on the campus of Utah State University (USU), using these two lidar techniques. This comparison is also unique in that this will be the first time that the Rayleigh and Na lidar profiles will cover the same altitude range (80-110 km). This altitude overlap has been achieved through upgrades to the existing USU Rayleigh lidar, which elevated its observational range from 45-90 km to 70-115 km, making it one of two Rayleigh lidars in the world that can extend into the thermosphere, and by the relocation of the Colorado State Na lidar to the USU campus. The comparison of the two sets of temperature measurements is important because the two lidar techniques derive temperature profiles using different observational techniques and analysis methods, each of which are based on different sets of physical assumptions and theories. Furthermore, previous climatological comparisons between Rayleigh and Na lidar, in the 80-90 km range, have suggested that significant temperature differences can occur. This comparison aims to extend the climatological studies by exploring the agreement between the lidar techniques’ temperatures with respect to altitude and season.


Poster presented at 2016 joint CEDAR-GEM workshop.