First polar mesosphere summer echoes observed at Davis, Antarctica (68.6°S)

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Abstract

[1] We report the first observations of polar mesosphere summer echoes (PMSE) above the high-latitude Southern Hemisphere (SH) station Davis, Antarctica (68.6°S, 78.0°E geographic; 74.6°S magnetic). Observations were obtained using a 55 MHz atmospheric radar, the first stage of which was commissioned late in the austral summer of 2002–2003. The radar commenced mesosphere observations with approximately 20 kW of transmitted power in October 2003. PMSE were recorded from 19 November to 3 December 2003 and, after a break in radar operation, from 27 January to 21 February 2004. We present the initial seasonal and diurnal occurrence morphology from 180 hours of Davis PMSE observations. Our initial findings reveal that SH PMSE show similar backscatter echo characteristics and occurrence properties to those reported for the Northern Hemisphere (NH).

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