Mesospheric doppler wind measurements from Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS)

Dong L. Wu, Michael J. Schwartz, Joe W. Waters, Varavut Limpasuvan, Qian Wu, Timothy L. Killeen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes a microwave limb technique for measuring Doppler wind in the Earth's mesosphere. The research algorithm has been applied to Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) 118.75 GHz measurements where the O 2 Zeeman lines are resolved by a digital autocorrelation spectrometer. A precision of ∼17 m/s for the line-of-sight (LOS) wind is achieved at 80-92 km, which corresponds to radiometric noise during 1/6 s integration time. The LOS winds from Aura MLS are mostly in the meridional direction at low- and mid-latitudes with vertical resolution of ∼8 km. This microwave Doppler technique has potential to obtain useful winds down to ∼40 km of the Earth's atmosphere if measurements from other MLS frequencies (near H 2 O, O 3 , and CO lines) are used. Initial analyses show that the MLS winds from the 118.75 GHz measurements agree well with the TIDI (Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics Doppler Interferometer) winds for the perturbations induced by a strong quasi 2-day wave (QTDW) in January 2005. Time series of MLS winds reveal many interesting climatological and planetary wave features, including the diurnal, semidiurnal tides, and the QTDW. Interactions between the tides and the QTDW are clearly evident, indicating possible large tidal structural changes after the QTDW events dissipate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1246-1252
Number of pages7
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Doppler wind
  • Mesosphere
  • Microwave radiometry
  • Planetary waves
  • Tides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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