Large- and Small-scale Dynamics and Meteor Studies in the MLT with a New-generation Meteor Radar on King George Island
This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). The project will employ a sophisticated meteor radar at the Brazilian Antarctic station Comandante Ferraz on King George Island for a number of synergetic research efforts of high interest to the international aeronomical community. The location of the radar will be at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula - at a critical southern latitude of 62 degrees - to fill a current measurement gap from 54 to 68 degrees south. The radar will play a key role in Antarctic and inter-hemispheric studies of neutral atmosphere dynamics, defining global mesosphere and lower thermosphere structure and variability (from 80 to 105 km) and guiding advances of models accounting for the dynamics of this high-altitude region, including general circulation models, and climate and numerical weather prediction models. The unique radar measurement sensitivity will enable studies of: (1) the large-scale circulation and planetary waves, (2) the tidal structure and variability, (3) the momentum transport by small-scale gravity waves, (4) important, but unquantified, gravity wave - tidal interactions, (5) polar mesosphere summer echoes, and (6) meteor fluxes, head echoes, and non-specular trails, a number of which exhibit high latitudinal gradients at these latitudes. This radar will support extensive collaborations with U.S. and other scientists making measurements at other Antarctic and Arctic conjugate sites, including Brazilian scientists at C. Ferraz and U.S. and international colleagues having other instrumentation in the Antarctic, Arctic, and within South America. Links to the University of Colorado in the U.S., Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE) in Brazil and Universidad Nacional de La Plata in Argentina will provide unique research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students in the U.S. and South America.
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