This National Science Foundation International Polar Year project is aimed at extending our understanding of upper atmospheric circulation and features and its interaction with the lower atmosphere. This largely observational study combines satellite measurements, lidar measurements, and meteorological soundings and analyses to study the troposphere, stratosphere, and mesosphere. This effort represents an international collaboration between investigators at six institutions in Canada, Germany, Japan and the United States.
The satellite observations yield global synoptic-scale temperature measurements of the mesosphere and upper stratosphere while the meteorological soundings and analyses provide global synoptic-scale measurements of the troposphere and lower stratosphere. An international network of four Rayleigh lidars:
- ALOMAR - Andoya, Norway (69°N, 16°E)
- PFRR - Chatanika, Alaska (65°N, 147°W)
- PEARL - Eureka, Nunavut (80°N, 86°W),
- SUARF - Kangarlussuaq, Greenland (67°N, 51°W)
provide a chain of high resolution temperature measurements from the eastern Arctic to the western Arctic.
The lidars will yield high-resolution measurements of the structure and circulation of the Arctic stratospheric vortex, the Aleutian anticyclone, the stratospheric surf-zone, planetary waves, tides, and gravity waves that are corroborated by the synoptic-scale satellite and meteorological observations.