Estimation of mesoscale thermospheric wind structure using a network of interferometers

Brian J. Harding, Jonathan J. Makela, John W. Meriwether

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We introduce a technique for estimating the regional thermospheric wind field from measurements made by a network of interferometers. Unlike previous work, this technique does not make assumptions about the functional form of the wind field and instead uses inverse theory to find the smoothest wind field that agrees with the measurements. This technique is general and applies to any network making radial velocity measurements. We show reconstructions of the thermospheric wind field over the eastern United States and over eastern Brazil, using data from two distinct networks of Fabry-Perot interferometers measuring the Doppler shift of the 630.0-nm airglow emission. In Brazil, we find direct evidence of a convergent wind field during the period of rapid thermospheric temperature increase associated with the equatorial midnight temperature maximum. Key Points A new technique to estimate the thermospheric wind field is presented A converging wind field precedes the midnight temperature maximum in Brazil

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3928-3940
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • midnight temperature maximum
  • regularization
  • thermospheric dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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