A long-term comparison of wind and tide measurements in the upper mesosphere recorded with an imaging Doppler interferometer and SuperDARN radar at Halley, Antarctica
- Physical Sciences Division, British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK
Abstract. Data from a near co-located imaging Doppler interferometer (IDI) and SuperDARN radar recorded since 1996 have been analysed in a consistent manner to compare the derived mean winds and tides in the upper mesosphere. By comparing only days when both techniques were recording good quality meridional wind data it is shown that the SuperDARN radar winds and tides correlate best with the IDI height bin 90–95 km. On timescales of one hour the winds derived from the IDI have a much greater associated variance and correlate poorly with the SuperDARN winds. Regression analysis reveals that the observed SuperDARN daily mean meridional wind strength is approximately 65% that recorded by the IDI, in good quantitative agreement with previous studies which have shown contamination to SuperDARN derived winds due to the significant back lobe of the radar radiation pattern. Climatologically the two techniques observe similar monthly mean winds with the SuperDARN meridional winds suppressed compared to the IDI which tends to record winds more poleward than those derived by the SuperDARN radar during the summer months, and to be slightly more equatorward during the winter. The 12-h tidal amplitude and phase derived from both techniques are in good agreement, whereas the 24-h tides are seen much more strongly in the SuperDARN radar, especially in wintertime, with poor phase agreement. Long term comparison of the two techniques reveals a tendency for the IDI meridional winds to be more poleward during solar maximum especially during summer time; an effect which is not reproduced in the meridional winds derived from the SuperDARN radar. These results are discussed in the context of previous studies to independently determine the veracity of each technique, and to highlight the circumstances where data derived from these two techniques can be used to draw reliable conclusions from comparative studies based on geographically distributed pairs of instruments.