Solar Flux, and 'Total' Particle and O2 Density, in Upper Atmosphere
INSTITUTE FOR DEFENSE ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DIV
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Solar flux, and total particle and O2 density distribution, in the upper mesosphere and lower thermosphere 70- to 150-km region are described. Respective distributions were determined from solar flux intensities measured by ion chambers in three rocket vehicles launched on 21 February 1966 from North America two at Eglin Gulf Test Range, Florida, and one at Fort Churchill, Manitoba. Method of determining density distributions is given. Solar flux outside and inside the absorbing atmosphere was measured for the following wave bands 1-20A x ray, 1140-1260A mainly hydrogen Lyman-alpha line at 1215.6A, and 1325-1475A Schumann-Runge continuum. Distributions of O2 and total particle density are based on the solar flux absorption in the sensible atmosphere. Results of solar flux measurements compare, in general, with results obtained elsewhere. Estimated errors vary from 10 to 100 percent. Density results also agree generally with those of other experimenters using similar of other techniques, except for one striking difference a step of O2 density exists at 113 plus or minus 7 km altitudes. This step, which to our knowledge has not been reported elsewhere, is described theoretically. Its existence is also confirmed by electron density data derived by ionosonde at each launch site.
- Atmospheric Physics