Specular Meteor Radar

Meteor radars are a reliable and widely spread tool to investigate MLT dynamics. Those radars make use of the reflection of electromagnetic waves at meteor trails. These radars provide observations of mesospheric winds in the altitude range between 80 to 100 km with a reasonable temporal resolution (up to 1 hour) or to estimate the mesopause region temperature by measuring the ambiploar diffusion of the meteor trail. These systems usually consist of one transmitting antenna and a receiving array of 5 antennas to determine the position of the meteor trail (specular point along the trail) in the sky by applying interferometry. The IAP operates such meteor radars in Andenes and Juliusruh. Recently we have installed a forward scatter meteor radar in Kühlungsborn. The Multi-frequency Multi-static Agile Radar for the Investigation of the Atmosphere (MMARIA) uses the transmitter of the standard meteor radar in Juliusruh and a receiving array in Kühlungsborn. The forward scatter radar probes almost the same volume from two different observation angles. Another benefit of this system is that we increased the number of meteor detections per unit time using the same transmitter, which makes this system a cost effective complement to the existing meteor radars.


  • C. Schult, G. Stober, J. L. Chau und R. Latteck, Determination of meteor-head echo trajectories using the interferometric capabilities of MAARSY, Ann. Geophys., 31, 1843-1851, doi:10.5194/angeo-31-1843-2013, 2013
  • G. Stober, C. Schult, C. Baumann, R. Latteck und M. Rapp, The Geminid meteor shower during the ECOMA sounding rocket campaign: Specular and head echo radar observations, Ann. Geophys., 31, 473-487, doi:10.5194/angeo-31-473-2013, 2013
  • J. L. Chau, I. Strelnikova, C. Schult, M. M. Oppenheim, M. C. Kelley, G. Stober und W. Singer, Non-specular meteor trails from non-field-aligned irregularities: Can they be explained by presence of charged meteor dust?, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1002/2014GL059922, 2014