Vincent B. Wickwar

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The goal of this project is to take relative densities of the mesosphere (altitude 45-90 km) from data that has been collected and convert them into absolute densities. It is then possible to look at how these densities vary with altitude and season. The data was collected using a Rayleigh-scatter LIDAR at the Atmospheric LIDAR Observatory. This is a part of the Center for Atmospheric and Space Sciences and is located on the Utah State University Campus. It spans a total of 11 years beginning in 1993 and ending in 2004. The collected data is used to create a composite year and is then normalized to a constant at an attitude of 45 km. It is then compared to an absolute density measurement at 45 km that is calculated using the European Reanalysis 20th Century (ERA-20C) model. This density is then used to convert all of the relative mesospheric densities into absolute densities.

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