Retrieval of mesospheric electron densities using an optimal estimation inverse method
Grant, J., Grainger, R. G., Lawrence, B. N., Fraser, G. J., Von Biel, H. A., Heuff, D. N. and Plank, G. E. (2004) Retrieval of mesospheric electron densities using an optimal estimation inverse method. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 66 (5). pp. 381-392. ISSN 1364-6826
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2003.12.006
We present a new method to determine mesospheric electron densities from partially reflected medium frequency radar pulses. The technique uses an optimal estimation inverse method and retrieves both an electron density profile and a gradient electron density profile. As well as accounting for the absorption of the two magnetoionic modes formed by ionospheric birefringence of each radar pulse, the forward model of the retrieval parameterises possible Fresnel scatter of each mode by fine electronic structure, phase changes of each mode due to Faraday rotation and the dependence of the amplitudes of the backscattered modes upon pulse width. Validation results indicate that known profiles can be retrieved and that χ2 tests upon retrieval parameters satisfy validity criteria. Application to measurements shows that retrieved electron density profiles are consistent with accepted ideas about seasonal variability of electron densities and their dependence upon nitric oxide production and transport.