IKS/Hochatmosphären-Forschung/Forschungsprojekte/ECOMA

ECOMA

Existence and Charge State of Meteoric Dust Grains in the Middle Atmosphere

FWF Project 18560

 

Summary

Between 10 and 100 tons of meteoric matter hit the Earth’s atmosphere every. These particles are too small to reach the Earth surface, but rather evaporate above about 100 km. A hypothesis is that these vaporised meteoric material coagulate as it sediments and forms the nuclei for ice particles, the so-called Noctilucent Clouds (NLC). These clouds of ice particles occur only in the cold summer mesosphere at high latitudes (70 to 90 km). The clouds have been observed from the ground for more than 100 years and the altitude and the occurrence observed by triangulation has not changed within the accuracy of the measurement. However the brightness has increased in the last 20 years, i.e. since these clouds could be monitored by satellites. The search for a conceivable connection between anthropogenic modification of the atmosphere and the variability of NLC is one of the topics of the present scientific project.

In order to understand the creation of NLC and the usually concurrently occurring mesospheric radar echoes, one needs to investigate the nucleation cores. Dedicated instruments were flown aboard a total of nine sounding rockets, all launched from the Norwegian rocket base Andøya Space Center. Seven ECOMA payloads were flown (with instruments from Austria, Germany, Norway and Sweden) which - for the first time - allowed to detect neutral dust particles. In one of the four campaigns the two MASS payloads by NASA were flown carrying mass spectrometers specifically laid out to cover the expected range of dust particle masses of either polarity. The Austrian instruments to measure plasma parameters (electrons and positive ions) are important for the scientific goal since their number densities are indicative for aerosols in general. The recovery of one of the ECOMA payloads failed and in another the payload potential was unexpectedly high; the plasma measurements were not affected, but the data of most other instruments were. The project began with the first launch in September 2006 and ended in December 2010.

An ECOMA payload being assembled
An ECOMA payload being assembled; © Martin Friedrich, TU Graz/IKS
The complete two-stage rocket with the payload attached, mounted on the launch rail
The complete two-stage rocket with the payload attached, mounted on the launch rail; © Martin Friedrich, TU Graz/IKS
Pushed back roof and the exposed launch rail ready for elevation
Pushed back roof and the exposed launch rail ready for elevation; © Martin Friedrich, TU Graz/IKS

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  • Brattli, A., Ø. Lie-Svendsen, K. Svenes, U.-P. Hoppe, Irina Strelnikova, M. Rapp, R. Latteck, and M. Friedrich:
    The ECOMA 2007 Campaign: Rocket Observations and Numerical Modelling of Aerosol Particle Charging and Plasma Depletion in a PMSE/NLC Layer,
    Ann. geophys. 27, pp. 781-796, 2008.

  • Friedrich, M. and M. Rapp:
    News from the Lower Ionosphere: A Review of Recent Developments,
    Surveys in Geophys. 30 (6), pp. 525-559, 2009

  • Friedrich, M., M. Rapp, J.M.C. Plane, and K. Torkar:
    Bite-Outs and Other Depletions of Mesospheric Electrons,
    J. atmos. solar terr. Phys. 73, pp. 2201-2211, 2011.

  • Knappmiller, S., S. Robertson, Z. Sternovsky, and M. Friedrich:
    A Rocket-Borne Mass Analyzer for Charged Aerosol Particles in the Mesosphere,
    Rev. sci. instr. 79 (10), pp. 1-10, 2008.

  • Lübken, F.-J., B. Strelnikov, M. Rapp, W. Singer, R. Latteck, A. Brattli, U.-P. Hoppe, and M. Friedrich:
    The Thermal and Dynamical State of the Atmosphere During Polar Mesosphere Winter Echos,
    Atmos. chem. phys. 6, pp. 13-24, 2006.

  • Rapp, M., Irina Strelnikova, B. Strelnikov, P. Hoffmann, U.-P. Hoppe, M. Friedrich, S. Robertson, S. Knappmiller, Mareille Wolf, and D. Marsh:
    Rocket-Borne in-situ Measurements of Meteor Smoke: Charging Properties and Implications for Seasonal Variation,
    J. geophys. Res. 115 (D), pp. 1-20, 2010.

  • Rapp, M., Irina Strelnikova, B. Strelnikov, R. Latteck, G. Baumgarten, Q. Li, Linda Megner, J. Gumbel, M. Friedrich, U.-P. Hoppe, and S. Robertson:
    First In Situ Measurement of the Vertical Distribution of Ice Volume in a Mesospheric Ice Cloud During the ECOMA/MASS Rocket-Campaign,
    Ann. geophys. 27, pp. 755-766, 2009.

  • Robertson, S., M. Horány, S. Knappmiller, Z. Sternovsky, R. Holzworth, M. Shimogawa, M. Friedrich, K. Torkar, J. Gumbel, Linda Megner, G. Baumgarten, R. Latteck, M. Rapp, U.-P. Hoppe, and M. Hervig:
    Mass Analysis of Charged Aerosol Particles in NLC and PMSE During the ECOMA/MASS Campaign,
    Ann. geophys. 27, pp. 1213-1232, 2009.

  • Singer, W., R. Latteck, M. Friedrich, M. Wakabayashi, and M. Rapp:
    Seasonal and Solar Activity Variability of D-Region Electron Density at 69°N,
    J. atmos. solar terr. Phys. 73 (9), pp. 925-935, 2011.

  • Strelnikova, Irina, M. Rapp, B. Strelnikov, G. Baumgarten, A. Brattli, K. Svenes, U.-P. Hoppe, M. Friedrich, J. Gumbel, and B. Williams:
    Measurements of Meteor Smoke Particles During the ECOMA-2006 Campaign: 2. Results,
    J. atmos. solar terr. Phys. 71 (3-4), pp. 486-496, 2009.

  • Strelnikov, B., M. Rapp, M. Zecha, T. Blix, M. Friedrich, and T. Yeoman:
    PMSE and E-Region Plasma Instability: In Situ Observations,
    J. atmos. solar terr. Phys 71 (1), pp. 143-157, 2009.

  • Friedrich, M., K. Torkar, M. Rapp, Irina Strelnikova, R. Latteck, and T. Blix:
    In Situ Observations of a Dying Sporadic E-Layer,
    ESA SP-671, pp. 123-128, 2009.

  • Strelnikova, Irina, M. Rapp, B. Strelnikov, G. Baumgarten, R. Latteck, U.-P. Hoppe, M. Friedrich, and J. Gumbel:
    In Situ Studies of Meteor Smoke Particles in the Middle Atmosphere During the ECOMA Rocket Campaigns,
    ESA SP-671, pp. 111-116, 2009.

  • Strelnikov, B, M. Rapp, Irina Strelnikova, R. Latteck, N. Engler, T. Blix, U.-P. Hoppe, and M. Friedrich.:
    Small-Scale Structures in Neutral and Plasma Species in the Middle Atmosphere as Observed During the ECOMA Rocket Campaigns,
    ESA SP-671, pp. 105-110, 2009.

  • Rapp, M., Irina Strelnikova, B. Strelnikov, M. Friedrich, J. Gumbel, U.-P. Hoppe, T. Blix, O. Havnes, O., P. Bracikowski, Kristina Lynch, and S. Knappmiller:
    Microphysical Properties of Mesospheric Aerosols: An Overview of in situ-Results from the ECOMA Project,
    in: Aeronomy of the Earth's Atmosphere and Ionosphere, Springer, M.A. Abdu, Dora Pancheva, and A. Bhattacharyya, (eds.), pp. 67-74, IAGA Special Sopron Book Series, 2011.

  • Friedrich, M. and M. Rapp:
    Bite-Outs and Other "Black Holes" for Mesospheric Electrons,
    9th LPMR-Meeting, Stockholm, July, 2009.

  • Rapp, M., Irina Strelnikova, B. Strelnikov, G. Baumgarten, R. Latteck, F.-J. Lübken, U.-P. Hoppe, A. Brattli, K. Svenes, M. Friedrich, J. Gumbel, J. Stegman, T. Waldemarson, F. Giovane, and B.P. Williams:
    The ECOMA-Project: Project Overview and Initial Results,
    Paper presented at 18th ESA Symposium on European Rocket and Balloon Programmes and Related Research, Visby, June 2007.

  • Brattli, A., Ø. Lie-Svendsen, K. Svenes, U.-P. Hoppe, Irina Strelnikova, M. Rapp, R. Latteck, and M. Friedrich:
    The ECOMA 2007 Rocket Campaign: Observations and Numerical Modelling of Aerosol Particle Density Enhancement and Plasma Depletion in a PMSE Layer,
    Paper presented at European Geoscience Union, Vienna, April 2008.

  • Rapp, M., Irina Strelnikova, B. Strelnikov, G. Baumgarten, R. Latteck, A. Brattli, K. Svenes, U.-P. Hoppe, M. Friedrich, and J. Gumbel:
    An Overview of Results from the ECOMA-Project: In Situ Studies of Meteor Smoke Particles in the Middle Atmosphere,
    Paper C21-0039-08 presented at 37th COSPAR, Montréal, July 2008.

  • Singer, W., R. Latteck, M. Friedrich, and M. Rapp:
    Diurnal and Seasonal Variability of D-Region Electron Densities at 69°N,
    Paper C41-0030-08 presented at 37th COSPAR, Montréal, July 2008.

  • Robertson, S., S. Knappmiller, M. Horány, Z. Sternovsky, G. Baumgarten, R. Latteck, M. Rapp, R. Holzworth, J. Gumbel, Linda Megner, and M. Friedrich:
    Mass-Analysis of Charged Aerosol Particles in a PMSE/NLC Layer by a Rocket-Borne Spectrometer,
    Paper C51-0005-08 presented at 37th COSPAR, Montréal, July 2008.

  • Strelnikova, Irina, M. Rapp, R. Latteck, G. Baumgarten, A. Brattli, J. Gumbel, and S. Robertson:
    Measurements of Mesospheric Aerosol Particles During the ECOMA/MASS Campaign 2007,
    Paper C51-0008-08 presented at 37th COSPAR, Montréal, July 2008.

  • Rapp, M. B. Strelnikov, U.-P. Hoppe, T.A. Blix, M. Friedrich, J. Hedin, M. Khaplanov, J. Gumbel, J. Moen, T.A. Bekkeng, R. Latteck, G. Stober, and G. Baumgarten:
    In-Situ Measurements of Meteoric Smoke Properties During the Geminids 2010 in the Frame of the ECOMA Sounding Rocket Program,
    Paper presented at 20th ESA Symposium on European Rocket and Balloon Programmes and Related Research, Hyères, May 2011.

  • Strelnikov, B., T. Blix, U,-P. Hoppe, M. Friedrich, and M. Rapp:
    In-Situ Measurements of Small-Scale Structures in Neutrals and Plasma Species During ECOMA 2010,
    Paper presented at 20th ESA Symposium on European Rocket and Balloon Programmes and Related Research, Hyères, May 2011.

  • M. Friedrich, M. Rapp, T. Blix, U.-P. Hoppe, and K. Torkar: Electron Loss and Meteoric Dust in the Mesosphere,
    Paper presented at 20th ESA Symposium on European Rocket and Balloon Programmes and Related Research, Hyères, May 2011.

  • Dickson, S., M. Friedrich, J. Gumbel, M. Horányi, P. Klein, S. Knappmiller, D. Konecny, S. Robertson, and Z. Sternovsky:
    Determining the Charge and Mass Distribution of Charged Dust Particles in the Mesosphere with Rocket-Borne Probes,
    Paper presented at 6th, International Conference on the Physics of Dusty Plasmas, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, May 2011.

  • Friedrich, M. and J.M.C. Plane:
    Electron Scavenging in the Night-Time Mesosphere - A Collection of Empirical Data,
    AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, December 15, 2008.

  • Holzworth, R., M. Shimogawa, S. Robertson, M. Horányi, S. Knappmiller, R. Kohnert, Z. Sternovsky, M. Friedrich, J. Gumbel, M. Khaplanov, Linda Megner, G. Baumgarten, R. Latteck, M. Rapp, U.-P. Hoppe:
    Electric Field Probe Measurements in NLC and PMSE During the MASS Rocket Campaign,
    AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, December 12, 2007.

  • Rapp, M., Irina Strelnikova, B. Strelnikov, R. Latteck, G. Baumgarten, U.-P. Hoppe, A. Brattli, M. Friedrich, J. Gumbel, Linda Megner, K.H. Fricke, S. Robertson, Z. Sternovsky, and R. Holzworth:
    Measurements of Meteor Smoke and Ice Particles During the ECOMA-2006 and ECOMA/MASS-2007 Campaigns,
    AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, December 10, 2007.

  • Robertson, S., M. Horányi, S. Knappmiller, R. Kohnert, Z. Sternovsky, R. Holzworth, M. Shimogawa, M. Friedrich, J. Gumbel, M. Khaplanov, Linda Megner, G. Baumgarten, R. Latteck, and U.-P. Hoppe:
    Mass-Analysis of Charged Aerosol Particles in a PMSE/NLC Layer by a Rocket-Borne Spectrometer,
    AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, December 12, 2007.

  • Lynch, Kristina, P. Braciskowski, Lynette Gelinas, J. Plane, M. Friedrich, M. Rapp, and O. Havnes:
    Recent Sounding Rocket Flights of a Mesospheric Charged Dust Detector,
    Poster SA41A-1548, AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, December 2008.

  • Rapp, M., Irina Strelnikova, B. Strelnikov, G. Baumgarten, J. Gumbel. Linda Megner, M. Friedrich, U. Hoppe, S. Robertson, S. Knappmiller, Z. Sternovsky, and Mareille Wolff:
    In-Situ Evidence for a Strong Seasonal Variability of Meteor Smoke at High Northern Latitudes and Implications for Mesospheric Ice Nucleation,
    Poster SA33C-06, AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, December 2008.


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Contact
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Martin Friedrich,

Ao.Univ.-Prof.i.R. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.

Tel: +43 (0)316 873-7441

Fax: +43 (0)316 873-7941

martin.friedrichnoSpam@tugraz.at