Remote Sounding of Atmospheric Gravity Waves with Satellite Limb and Nadir Techniques
CALIFORNIA INST OF TECHNOLOGY PASADENA JET PROPULSION LAB
Pagination or Media Count:
Recent advances in satellite techniques hold great potential for mapping global gravity wave GW processes at various altitudes. Poor understanding of small-scale GWs has been a major limitation to numerical climate and weather models for making reliable forecasts. Observations of short-scale features have important implication for validating and improving future high-resolution numerical models. This paper summarizes recent GW observations and sensitivities from several satellite instruments, including MLS, AMSU-A, AIRS, GPS, and CLAES. It is shown in an example that mountain waves with horizontal wavelengths as short as 30 km now can be observed by AIRS, reflecting the superior horizontal resolution in these modern satellite instruments. Our studies show that MLS, AMSU-A and AIRS observations reveal similar GW characteristics, with the observed variances correlated well with background winds. As a complementary technique, limb sounding instruments like CRISTA, CLAES, and GPS can detect GWs with better vertical but poorer horizontal resolutions.
- Unmanned Spacecraft