Initial results from SKiYMET meteor radar at Thumba (8.5°N, 77°E): 1. Comparison of wind measurements with MF spaced antenna radar system



[1] In the present communication, initial results from the allSKy interferometric METeor (SKiYMET) radar installed at Thumba (8.5°N, 77°E) are presented. The meteor radar system provides hourly zonal and meridional winds in the mesosphere lower thermosphere (MLT) region. The meteor radar measured zonal and meridional winds are compared with nearby MF radar at Tirunalveli (8.7°N, 77.8°E). The present study provided an opportunity to compare the winds measured by the two different techniques, namely, interferometry and spaced antenna drift methods. Simultaneous wind measurements for a total number of 273 days during September 2004 to May 2005 are compared. The comparison showed a very good agreement between these two techniques in the height region 82–90 km and poor agreement above this height region. In general, the zonal winds compare very well as compared to the meridional winds. The observed discrepancies in the wind comparison above 90 km are discussed in the light of existing limitations of both the radars. The detailed analysis revealed the consistency of the measured winds by both the techniques. However, the discrepancies are observed at higher altitudes and are attributed to the contamination of MF radar neutral wind measurements with Equatorial Electro Jet (EEJ) induced inospheric drifts rather than the limitations of the spaced antenna technique. The comparison of diurnal variation of zonal winds above 90 km measured by both the radars is in reasonably good agreement in the absence of EEJ (during local nighttime). It is also been noted that the difference in the zonal wind measurements by both the radars is directly related to the strength of EEJ, which is a noteworthy result from the present study.