Lidar observation of the mesospheric sodium layer over Urbana, Illinois

E. S. Richter, J. R. Rowlett, C. S. Gardner, C. F. Sechrist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Atmospheric sodium has been observed over Urbana (40°10′N, 88°10′W) using a monostatic lidar tuned to 589.0 nm. The photocount data are processed using digital smoothing filters to obtain continuous estimates of the sodium density versus altitude. The filter cutoff frequency is related to the height resolution and accuracy of the estimated profile. Wavelike structures in the sodium layer have been observed with typical wavelengths of 3-15 km and phase velocities of 1-3 m s-1. The layer is characterized by a sharp falloff on the bottomside and often an undulatory motion of the bottomside of the layer accompanies the wave motion. The topside gradient of the layer is frequently observed to decrease through the night.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-337
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Geophysics
  • General Engineering
  • Atmospheric Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Lidar observation of the mesospheric sodium layer over Urbana, Illinois'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this