Due to the progress of computers and radar technique, the meteor studies have received new breath in 2000s when the new generation meteor radars were taken in use. At present, more than 20 modern meteor radars operate around the globe. These radars can deduce meteor fluxes, as well as winds and temperatures at altitudes of 80-100 km corresponding to the mesosphere – lower thermosphere region, which are widely for atmospheric research.
Recent investigation has revealed a number of new features related to the mesospheric temperature estimate and composition of meteor streams, the perturbations caused by a rocket explosion in the ionosphere, and signatures of pulsating aurora in the meteor radar data. These features are worth further extensive research to obtain new knowledge on the nature of following phenomena:
- Radio echoes related to auroral activity and ionospheric disturbances
- Parameters of meteor trails and composition of meteor streams
- Dust and aerosols in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere
- Effects of man-made ionosphere/thermosphere perturbations
Such studies require joint efforts of the research groups operating meteor radars in both hemispheres, especially at high latitudes (Arctic and Antarctic). The proposed studies are multi-disciplinary and the results are applicable in the fields of ionospheric plasma physics, meteor astronomy, radio science, and atmospheric science. Ultimately, the objective is to improve the meteor radar echoes selection algorithms and, respectively to improve the estimations of mesospheric temperature and wind velocity. This is of practical importance for planning space missions, which require knowledge of atmospheric neutral density and variability during geomagnetically disturbed periods for estimating the satellite drag.
Space Sciences: Magnetospheric and Space Plasma Physics