Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Mike Taylor


Mike Taylor


Ludger Scherliess


Charles Torre


The Advanced Mesospheric Temperature Mapper [AMTM] is a remote sensing instrument developed at Utah State University to map temperature structures in the hydroxyl airglow emission at ~87 km. These maps can then be used to quantify wave field characteristics and to observe general climatology trends. Two recent campaigns that it has been involved with are the DEEPWAVE campaign in Lauder, New Zealand and the Super Soaker campaign in Fairbanks, Alaska.

The Deep Propagating Gravity Wave Experiment, “DEEPWAVE” was an international measurement and modeling program intended to characterize the generation and propagation of a broad range of atmospheric gravity waves with measurements extending from the ground to ~100 km altitude. A suite of aircraft-borne and ground-based aeronomic and weather measurements was deployed from New Zealand during a two-month period in June-July of 2014 to investigate wintertime gravity wave [GW] events as well as to study their climatology. Data used in this study were obtained by a collection of ground-based instrumentation operated at the Lauder Station of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research [NIWA] in New Zealand (45.0°S). Instruments included an AMTM, a Rayleigh lidar and an all-sky imager. Analysis of image data obtained by the AMTM revealed a rich spectrum of GWs with 19 unprecedented quasi-stationary mountain wave [MW] events generated by orographic forcing. This is the largest occurrence of MW activity recorded at heights of 80-100 km. This study will focus on four such events, illustrating their varying MW properties and in three cases determining their corresponding momentum flux.

The Super Soaker Sounding Rocket Mission was designed to study the transport, chemistry, and energetics of water in the mesosphere-lower thermosphere [MLT] region with the intent to create a Polar Mesospheric Cloud [PMC] through water deposition. Three sounding rockets were launched on January 26, 2018 into clear night-time skies over central Alaska with coincident ground-based AMTM, Rayleigh and Resonance lidar observations. In addition, the AMTM collected data for two months preceding and following the launch to establish typical GW characteristics and temperature variability during this period. This study will include an overview of PMC, a summary of the scientific goals and questions of the mission, results collected from the AMTM with an emphasis on the GWs, and an analysis of the wintertime climatology of the Fairbanks area at this time.