Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

MF radar observations of meteors and meteor-derived winds at Syowa (69°S, 39°E), Antarctica: A comparison with simultaneous spaced antenna winds



[1] The first results of long-term meteor observations made with Syowa MF radar (69°S, 39°E), Antarctica, are presented. In winter, meteor wind measurements can be conducted throughout the day without being severely affected by group retardation or total reflection, while in summer the observations are confined within several hours around 0000 local time (LT). Daily meteor echo rates (roughly 300–1000) are clearly anticorrelated with local K indices, indicating that the observations mostly represent geomagnetically quiet conditions. Echoes are distributed from around 80 km to 120 km, with the peak altitude at around 100 km. The maximum height is set by the relatively slow sampling frequency employed (5 Hz) and is expected to be extended by using a higher frequency. Meteor and full correlation analysis (FCA) winds in winter months are compared. They agree well at around 90 km, while the FCA winds tend to underestimate the meteor winds at upper altitudes. A notable finding is that the directions of wind velocities can also be different. The FCA winds show less height variations above about 90 km and it appears as though the FCA heights are overestimated. A case study of angles of arrival estimated from MF echoes suggests a possibility that meteor echoes contaminate ionospheric echoes down to as low as 80 km. However, quantitative evaluation of meteor contamination effects, if any, on FCA wind velocities has not been done yet and remains a future topic to be studied. Other sources which cause the differences should also be sought. The remarkably wide height coverage of the present MF radar observations (from around 60 to nearly 120 km) using both FCA and meteor techniques simultaneously will greatly contribute to polar mesosphere and lower thermosphere study.