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Type: Journal article
Title: The effects of deionization processes on meteor radar diffusion coefficients below 90 km
Author: Younger, J.
Lee, C.
Reid, I.
Vincent, R.
Kim, Y.
Murphy, D.
Citation: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 2014; 119(16):10027-10043
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 2169-8996
Statement of
J. P. Younger, C. S. Lee, I. M. Reid, R. A. Vincent, Y. H. Kim, and D. J. Murphy
Abstract: The decay times of VHF radar echoes from underdense meteor trails are reduced in the lower portions of the meteor region. This is a result of plasma neutralization initiated by the attachment of positive trail ions to neutral atmospheric molecules. Decreased echo decay times cause meteor radars to produce erroneously high estimates of the ambipolar diffusion coefficient at heights below 90 km, which affects temperature estimation techniques. Comparisons between colocated radars and satellite observations show that meteor radar estimates of diffusion coefficients are not consistent with estimates from the Aura Microwave Limb Sounder satellite instrument and that colocated radars operating at different frequencies estimate different values of the ambipolar diffusion coefficient for simultaneous detections of the same meteors. Loss of free electrons from meteor trails due to attachment to aerosols and chemical processes were numerically simulated and compared with observations to determine the specific mechanism responsible for low-altitude meteor trail plasma neutralization. It is shown that three-body attachment of positive metal ions significantly reduces meteor radar echo decay times at low altitudes compared to the case of diffusion only that atmospheric ozone plays little part in the evolution of low-altitude underdense meteor trails and that the effect of three-body attachment begins to exceed diffusion in echo decay times at a constant density surface.
Rights: © 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
DOI: 10.1002/2014JD021787
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