Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1631
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1631
11 Jun 2024
 | 11 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Measurement report: Rocket-borne measurements of heavy ions in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere – Detection of meteor smoke particles

Joan Stude, Heinfried Aufmhoff, Hans Schlager, Markus Rapp, Carsten Baumann, Frank Arnold, and Boris Strelnikov

Abstract. We present data from flights of two improved ion mass spectrometers in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere region. The instruments were optimized to detect large ion masses of up to m/z 2000 and 20000 respectively, for analysis of meteor smoke particles. The flights were performed in the frame of the PMWE campaign, initiated and coordinated by IAP/Kühlungsborn, to investigate polar mesospheric winter radar echoes in Andøya/Norway in 2018 and 2021. Both flights were successful and allow to investigate the mass number and chemical composition of charged meteor smoke particles. We found a complex and divers composition of positively and negatively charged molecules and particles. While at altitudes below 85 km we observed negatively charged particles of up to several thousands of atomic mass units, above this altitude we found possible building blocks of these large particles that form right after their ablation from the parent meteorite material. While in the first flight we detected no positively charged molecules and ion clusters above m/z 100, we measured positive and negative ions with masses up to around m/z 400 in the second flight. Due to the very large mass range of m/z 20000 used in the second flight and the subsequent lower mass resolution, unambiguous mass identification is not possible. Comparing our findings to proposed meteor smoke particle compounds by other authors, our observations would be consistent with Magnetite, Fayalite and Forsterite. However, other possible compounds cannot be excluded.

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Joan Stude, Heinfried Aufmhoff, Hans Schlager, Markus Rapp, Carsten Baumann, Frank Arnold, and Boris Strelnikov

Status: open (until 23 Jul 2024)

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Joan Stude, Heinfried Aufmhoff, Hans Schlager, Markus Rapp, Carsten Baumann, Frank Arnold, and Boris Strelnikov

Data sets

PMWE1F-ROMARA Joan Stude, Heinfried Aufmhoff, and Markus Rapp https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.11470114

PMWE2F-ROMARA Joan Stude, Heinfried Aufmhoff, and Markus Rapp https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.11469720

Joan Stude, Heinfried Aufmhoff, Hans Schlager, Markus Rapp, Carsten Baumann, Frank Arnold, and Boris Strelnikov

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Short summary
We used a mass spectrometer on a rocket to analyze natural ions at altitudes between 60 and 120 km. Our instrument was launched in 2018 and 2021 from Norway. The heaviest particles were detected around 80 km, while medium particles could be found even above 100 km. Our measurements show that different particles are formed and not just one predominating compound. The most likely compounds that form meteor smoke particles in our measurements are made up from oxides of iron, magnesium and silicon.