Estimation of gravity wave momentum flux with spectroscopic imaging

Jing Tang, Farzad Kamalabadi, Steven J. Franke, Alan Z. Liu, Gary K. Swenson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Atmospheric gravity waves play a significant role in the dynamics and thermal balance of the upper atmosphere. In this paper, we present a novel technique for automated and robust calculation of momentum flux of high-frequency quasi-monochromatic wave components from spectroscopic imaging and horizontal radar wind measurements. Our approach uses the two-dimensional (2-D) cross periodogram of two consecutive Doppler-shifted time-differenced (TD) images to identify wave components and estimate intrinsic wave parameters. Besides estimating the average perturbation of dominant waves in the whole field of view, this technique applies 2-D short-space Fourier transform to the TD images to identify localized wave events. With the wave parameters acquired, the momentum flux carried by all vertically propagating wave components is calculated using an analytical model relating the measured intensity perturbation to the wave amplitude. This model is tested by comparing wave perturbation amplitudes inferred from spectroscopic images with those from sodium lidar temperature measurements. The proposed technique enables characterization of the variations in the direction and strength of gravity waves with high temporal resolution for each clear data-taking night. The nightly results provide statistical information for investigating seasonal and geographical variations in momentum flux of gravity waves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-109
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Atmospheric measurement
  • Feature extraction
  • Spectroscopic imaging
  • Spectrum analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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