Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

2016 Joint CEDAR-GEM Workshop, Santa Fe, NM

Publication Date



Observations have been made with the large, Rayleigh-scatter lidar at the Atmospheric Lidar Observatory at Utah State University (ALO-USU; 41.74° N, 111.81° W) from summer 2014 to summer 2015. During this first operational year, the lidar acquired nearly 100 nights of observations between 70 and 115 km altitude, i.e., from the upper mesosphere, through the mesopause, and into the lower thermosphere. This was possible because of the large 4.9 m2 collecting area of the mirrors and the 42 W of 532 nm emission at 30 Hz. These two factors produce a figure of merit, the power-aperture-product, of 206 Wm2, making this one of the two most sensitive Rayleigh lidars in the world. The all-night data have been reduced to obtain relative densities and absolute temperatures. The temperatures are divided into three-month seasons, which are used to determine variations in altitude and in time. They clearly show significant and complex patterns. Additionally, they are compared to the original ALO-USU temperature climatology, which extends from 45 to 90 km, from 11 years of data from the original lidar, and they are compared to the temperatures from the NRL-MSISe00 empirical model.


Poster presented at 2016 Joint CEDAR-GEM workshop.