Sounding rocket project “PMWE” for investigation of polar mesosphere winter echoes

Martin Friedrich, Boris Strelnikov, Tristan Staszak, Ralph Latteck, Toralf Renkwitz, Irina Strelnikova, Franz-Josef Lübken, Gerd Baumgarten, Jens Fiedler, Jorge L. Chau, Joan Stude, Markus Rapp, Jörg Gumbel, Jonas Hedin, Evgenia Belova, Marcus Hörschgen-Egger, Gabriel Giono, Igor Hörner, Stefan Löhle, Martin EberhartStefanos Fasoulas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A first sounding rocket campaign dedicated to investigate the creation mechanism of Polar Mesosphere Winter Echoes (PMWE) was conducted in April 2018 from the north Norwegian Andøya Space Center (69 N, 16 E). Two instrumented sounding rockets were launched on 13th and 18th of April under PMWE and non-PMWE conditions, respectively. In this paper we give an overview of the PMWE sounding rocket mission. We describe and discuss some results of combined in situ and ground-based measurements which allow to verify existing PMWE theories. Our measurements ultimately show that: a) polar winter mesosphere is abounded with meteor smoke particles (MSP) and intermittent turbulent layers, b) all PMWE observed during this campaign can be explained by neutral air turbulence, c) turbulence creates small-scale structures in all D-region constituents, including free electrons; d) MSP ultimately influence the radar volume reflectivity by distorting the turbulence spectrum of electrons, e) the influence of MSP and of background electron density is just to increase SNR
Original languageEnglish
Article number105596
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • In situ measurements
  • PMWE
  • Radar echoes
  • Sounding rockets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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