Variability of the Lower Thermosphere Determined from Satellite Accelerometer Data.
Environmental research papers,
AIR FORCE GEOPHYSICS LAB HANSCOM AFB MASS
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An extensive atmospheric density data base has been developed using accelerometer results from four low altitude satellites. The altitude range of the data is from 250 km down to as low as 140 km, with latitude coverage from 90 N to 90 S and local time periods that cover several 24-hr cycles. The data were obtained over a wide range of geomagnetic activity conditions. Solar radiation, as indicated by the 10.7-cm flux, was generally very low. Hence the data base applies mainly to solar minimum conditions. A description of the satellites, the accelerometer experiment, and the data base is given. Density variability is statistically analyzed in relation to selected atmospheric models. Particular attention is given to deviations from a normal distribution. Frequency distribitons of the data are described in terms of the mean value and the second, third, and fourth moments about the mean. This provides a more accurate description of extreme variations. The statistical properties of atmospheric variability are analyzed as a function of geomagnetic activity, latitude, altitude, and local time to develop a quantitative knowledge of unmodeled density variations. The results show that these accelerometer data will permit significant improvement in understanding the variations in the lower thermospheric density.
- Atmospheric Physics