The impact of high resolution radar on meteor studies: the EISCAT perspective
2008 (English)In: URSI Radio Science Bulletin, ISSN 1024-4530, no 324, 17-28 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Meteors, i.e. meteoroids interacting with the atmosphere, provided a vast amount of knowledge about interplanetary matter already long before the space era. Using what is today known as specular meteor radars (SMR), a great body of data on meteors was accumulated, mainly through recording echoes from the meteor trails. However, due to the specularity requirement and the ceiling effect, this method only detects a subset of the meteor population. By contrast, the High Power Large Aperture (HPLA) radar method can observe head echoes from meteors passing through the radar beam at almost arbitrary aspect angles. The very high power densities available at typical HPLA installations allow millisecond time resolution and spatial resolution in the range of tens of meters to be achieved routinely. In special cases, interference between echoes from two meteors has made it possible to achieve centimetre scale spatial resolution, thus allowing the deduction of an upper limit on the effective target size. Vector quantities such as meteor velocity and deceleration, providing mass and orbit estimates, can be recorded by phased arrays with interferometric capability, as well as by multi-static radars. A case in point is the tri-static EISCAT UHF radar system, which provides a unique capability of monitoring head echoes over a very wide range of aspect angles. A recent analysis of data from the UHF system confirms that head echo targets are essentially spherical in the forward direction. The next generation of HPLA systems is exemplified by the EISCAT_3D multistatic phased array radar concept. We discuss how this system will affect temporal and spatial resolution, sensitivity and rate of statistics in meteor observations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. no 324, 17-28 p.
meteor, HPLA, radar, EISCAT
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-11232OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-11232DiVA: diva2:150903