As part of this year’s international NDMC conference (Network for the Detection of Mesospheric Change) held 20-22 May, 2014, two DFD scientists were honoured with the “NDMC Young Scientist Award 2014”. Every two years an international jury awards this prize to two promising young scientists.
Dr. Sabine Wüst received the award for her research on estimating the potential energy density of atmospheric gravity waves. She used measurements of atmospheric airglow made with the ground-based infrared spectrometer GRIPS.
This work contributes to an understanding of the process of gravity wave propagation in the atmosphere and is particularly relevant for improving the accuracy of numeric climate models. It complements measurements from satellite-based instruments and makes it possible to improve ground-based LIDAR observations of the mesopause region. Because of the orbital geometry of currently available satellites, their measurements do not allow gravity wave monitoring extending for several hours above a fixed point at high temporal resolution.
Dipl.-Phys. Carsten Schmidt received the award for his work on estimating the vertical wavelength of atmospheric gravity waves using measurements from the ground-based infrared spectrometer GRIPS. Radiation emitted by excited hydroxyl (OH) molecules from different rotation-vibration transitions at various altitudes was recorded at high temporal resolution for several hours. With this approach the spatial structure of gravity waves could be assessed in three dimensions. Capturing the third dimension, in addition to the fourth, temporal, dimension, makes it possible to completely characterize the structure function for atmospheric gravity waves. A future satellite-borne instrument could be designed to employ this methodology, thereby enabling this type of information to be derived globally with full coverage