Atmospheric tomography using the Nordic Meteor Radar Cluster and Chilean Observation Network de Meteor Radars: Network details and 3D-Var retrieval

Gunter Stober, Alexander Kozlovsky, Alan Liu, Zishun Qiao, Masaki Tsutsumi, Chris Hall, Satonori Nozawa, Mark Lester, Evgenia Belova, Johan Kero, Patrick J. Espy, Robert E. Hibbins, Nicholas Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (SciVal)


Ground-based remote sensing of atmospheric parameters is often limited to single station observations by vertical profiles at a certain geographic location. This is a limiting factor for investigating gravity wave dynamics as the spatial information is often missing, e.g., horizontal wavelength, propagation direction or intrinsic frequency. In this study, we present a new retrieval algorithm for multistatic meteor radar networks to obtain tomographic 3-D wind fields within a pre-defined domain area. The algorithm is part of the Agile Software for Gravity wAve Regional Dynamics (ASGARD) and called 3D-Var, and based on the optimal estimation technique and Bayesian statistics. The performance of the 3D-Var retrieval is demonstrated using two meteor radar networks: the Nordic Meteor Radar Cluster and the Chilean Observation Network De Meteor Radars (CONDOR). The optimal estimation implementation provide statistically sound solutions and diagnostics from the averaging kernels and measurement response. We present initial scientific results such as body forces of breaking gravity waves leading to two counter-rotating vortices and horizontal wavelength spectra indicating a transition between the rotational k-3 and divergent k-5/3 mode at scales of 80-120km. In addition, we performed a keogram analysis over extended periods to reflect the latitudinal and temporal impact of a minor sudden stratospheric warming in December 2019. Finally, we demonstrate the applicability of the 3D-Var algorithm to perform large-scale retrievals to derive meteorological wind maps covering a latitude region from Svalbard, north of the European Arctic mainland, to central Norway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6509-6532
Number of pages24
JournalAtmospheric Measurement Techniques
Issue number10
Early online date3 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
(grant no. ST/S000429/1 to Mark Lester) and the Schweizerische Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung (grant no. 200021_200517/1 to Gunter Stober). The Esrange meteor radar operation, maintenance and data collection were provided by the Esrange Space Center of the Swedish Space Corporation. The 3D-Var retrievals were developed as part of the ARISE design study (, last access: 8 October 2020) funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. This work was supported by the Research Council of Norway under the project Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System – Infrastructure development of the Norwegian node (SIOS-InfraNor, project no. 269927). This study is partly supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (no. 17H02968) of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).

Funding Information:
Financial support. This research has been supported by the STFC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Atmospheric tomography using the Nordic Meteor Radar Cluster and Chilean Observation Network de Meteor Radars: Network details and 3D-Var retrieval'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this