An Introduction to Space Instrumentation,
Edited by K. Oyama and C. Z. Cheng, pp. 1-11.
© TERRAPUB, 2013.

In-situ density measurements in the mesosphere/lower thermosphere region with the TOTAL and CONE instruments

Boris Strelnikov, Markus Rapp, and Franz-Josef Lübken

Leibniz Institute of Atmospheric Physics e.V. at the Rostock University (IAP), Schloss-Str. 6, 18225 Kühlungsborn, Germany

Abstract: The ionization gauges TOTAL and its improved version CONE are designed to measure neutral air density on a sounding rocket at very high spatial resolution and precision. Time constant of the CONE instrument is 0.3 ms which results for a typical rocket velocity of 1000 m/s in an altitude resolution of ∼30 cm. The very high precision of the density measurements allows to catch density fluctuations of 0.05% and, therefore, derive power spectrum that covers both inertial and viscous subranges of turbulence spectrum. This, in turn, makes it possible to precisely derive turbulence energy dissipation rate using spectral model technique. Absolute laboratory calibrations of the ionization gauges allow to derive absolute density. Because of the pronounced spin modulation of the measurements, the density profile has to be smoothed, which reduces the altitude resolution of the absolute density measurements to ∼200 m. Assuming hydrostatic equilibrium, the density profile can be integrated yielding neutral temperature profile with ∼200 m altitude resolution and precision of ∼4 K.
Key words: In-situ, density, temperature, mesosphere, CONE

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