University of Oulu

Stober, G., Liu, A., Kozlovsky, A., Qiao, Z., Kuchar, A., Jacobi, C., Meek, C., Janches, D., Liu, G., Tsutsumi, M., Gulbrandsen, N., Nozawa, S., Lester, M., Belova, E., Kero, J., and Mitchell, N.: Meteor radar vertical wind observation biases and mathematical debiasing strategies including the 3DVAR+DIV algorithm, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 15, 5769–5792,, 2022

Meteor radar vertical wind observation biases and mathematical debiasing strategies including the 3DVAR+DIV algorithm

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Author: Stober, Gunter1; Liu, Alan2; Kozlovsky, Alexander3;
Organizations: 1Institute of Applied Physics & Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research, Microwave Physics, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
2Center for Space and Atmospheric Research and Department of Physical Sciences, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA
3Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Institute for Meteorology, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany
5Physics & Engineering Physics, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
6ITM Physics Laboratory, Mail Code 675, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
7Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
8National Institute of Polar Research, Tachikawa, Japan
9The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), Tokyo, Japan
10Tromsø Geophysical Observatory, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
11Division for Ionospheric and Magnetospheric Research Institute for Space-Earth Environment Research, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
12Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
13Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF), Kiruna, Sweden
14British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK
15Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath, UK
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 7.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Copernicus Publications, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-06-06


Meteor radars have become widely used instruments to study atmospheric dynamics, particularly in the 70 to 110 km altitude region. These systems have been proven to provide reliable and continuous measurements of horizontal winds in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. Recently, there have been many attempts to utilize specular and/or transverse scatter meteor measurements to estimate vertical winds and vertical wind variability. In this study we investigate potential biases in vertical wind estimation that are intrinsic to the meteor radar observation geometry and scattering mechanism, and we introduce a mathematical debiasing process to mitigate them. This process makes use of a spatiotemporal Laplace filter, which is based on a generalized Tikhonov regularization. Vertical winds obtained from this retrieval algorithm are compared to UA-ICON model data. This comparison reveals good agreement in the statistical moments of the vertical velocity distributions. Furthermore, we present the first observational indications of a forward scatter wind bias. It appears to be caused by the scattering center’s apparent motion along the meteor trajectory when the meteoric plasma column is drifted by the wind. The hypothesis is tested by a radiant mapping of two meteor showers. Finally, we introduce a new retrieval algorithm providing a physically and mathematically sound solution to derive vertical winds and wind variability from multistatic meteor radar networks such as the Nordic Meteor Radar Cluster (NORDIC) and the Chilean Observation Network De meteOr Radars (CONDOR). The new retrieval is called 3DVAR+DIV and includes additional diagnostics such as the horizontal divergence and relative vorticity to ensure a physically consistent solution for all 3D winds in spatially resolved domains. Based on this new algorithm we obtained vertical velocities in the range of w = ± 1–2 m s−1 for most of the analyzed data during 2 years of collection, which is consistent with the values reported from general circulation models (GCMs) for this timescale and spatial resolution.

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Series: Atmospheric measurement techniques
ISSN: 1867-1381
ISSN-E: 1867-8548
ISSN-L: 1867-1381
Volume: 15
Issue: 19
Pages: 5769 - 5792
DOI: 10.5194/amt-15-5769-2022
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
114 Physical sciences
1171 Geosciences
Funding: This research has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF, grant no. 1828589), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (grant no. JA 836/43-1), the NASA Heliophysics ISFM program, NASA NESC assessment TI-17-01204, the NASA Meteoroid Environment Office (grant no. 80NSSC18M0046), the STFC (grant no. ST/S000429/1), and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS, Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research, grant no. 17H02968).
Copyright information: © Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.