Scale separation for gravity wave analysis from 3D temperature observations in the MLT region
Abstract. MATS (Mesospheric Airglow/Aerosol, Tomography & Spectroscopy) is a Swedish satellite designed to investigate atmospheric dynamics in the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere (MLT). From observing structures in noctilucent clouds over polar regions, and oxygen A-band emissions globally, MATS will supply the research community with properties of the MLT atmospheric wave field. Individual A-band images taken by the MATS main instrument, a 6-channel limb imager, are through tomography and spectroscopy turned into three-dimensional temperature fields in which the wave structures are embedded. To identify wave properties, in particular the gravity wave momentum flux, from the temperature field, smaller-scale perturbations, associated with the targeted waves, must be separated from large-scale background variations by a method of scale separation. This paper investigates the possibilities of employing a simple method based on smoothing polynomials to separate the smaller and larger scales. By using synthetic tomography data based on the HIAMCM (High Altitude Mechanistic Circulation Model) we demonstrate that smoothing polynomials can be applied to MLT temperatures to obtain fields corresponding to a global scale separation at zonal wavenumber 18. The simplicity of the method makes it a promising candidate for studying wave dynamics in the MATS temperature fields.
Status: open (until 06 Mar 2024)
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