Noctilucent Cloud Observations Coordinated with Rocket Temperature Soundings in Central Alaska.
Final rept. 15 Jul 74-30 Mar 75,
ALASKA UNIV COLLEGE GEOPHYSICAL INST
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During the summer of 1973 and 1974, the Geophysical Institute and the U.S. Army Meteorological Rocket Program cooperated in a small joint study to determine whether any correlation could be found between the appearance of noctilucent clouds and lower mesospheric temperature profiles. Noctilucent cloud observations were performed by the Geophysical Institute while mesospheric temperature profiles were obtained for altitudes below 70 km by parachute-borne thermistors released from standard Dart payloads carried aloft by Super Loki rocket motors. Temperature profiles obtained from grenade temperature soundings were used to extrapolate the lower mesospheric temperature profiles to the mesopause. Successful observations required temperature profiles to be obtained during clear sky conditions. These requirements were met on four occasions during the period of joint study. Preliminary analysis of data indicates that occurrence of noctilucent clouds may be independent of mesopause temperature. However, it is recognized that the quality of data is insufficient to justify emphasizing these results.
- Atmospheric Physics