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Polar cap mesosphere wind observations: comparisons of simultaneous measurements with a Fabry–Perot interferometer and a field-widened Michelson interferometer

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Abstract

Polar cap mesospheric winds observed with a Fabry–Perot interferometer with a circle-to-line interferometer optical (FPI/CLIO) system have been compared with measurements from a field-widened Michelson interferometer optimized for E-region winds (ERWIN). Both instruments observed the Meinel OH emission emanating from the mesopause region (∼86 km) at Resolute Bay, Canada (74.9 °N, 94.9 °W). This is the first time, to our knowledge, that winds measured simultaneously from a ground-based Fabry–Perot interferometer and a ground-based Michelson interferometer have been compared at the same location. The FPI/CLIO and ERWIN instruments both have a capability for high temporal resolution (less than 10 min for a full scan in the four cardinal directions and the zenith). Statistical comparisons of hourly mean winds for both instruments by scatterplots show excellent agreement, indicating that the two optical techniques provide equivalent observations of mesopause winds. Small deviations in the measured wind can be ascribed to the different zenith angles used by the two instruments. The combined measurements illustrate the dominance of the 12-h wave in the mesopause winds at Resolute Bay, with additional evidence for strong gravity wave activity with much shorter periods (tens of minutes). Future operations of the two instruments will focus on observation of complementary emissions, providing a unique passive optical capability for the determination of neutral winds in the geomagnetic polar cap at various altitudes near the mesopause.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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