Radar Observations of Meteors

Kero, Johan; Campbell-Brown, Margaret D.; Stober, Gunter; Chau, Jorge Luis; Mathews, John David; Pellinen-Wannberg, Asta (2019). Radar Observations of Meteors. In: Ryabova, Galina O.; Asher, David J.; Campbell-Brown, Margaret D. (eds.) Meteoroids: Sources of Meteors on Earth and Beyond. Cambridge Planetary Science (pp. 65-89). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 10.1017/9781108606462.008

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A meteoroid entering the atmosphere produces a transient plasma that due to ambipolar diffusion expands to a trail and drifts with the local wind. Radar detection of meteor plasma with different kinds of radar systems have enabled studies of meteor astronomy and meteoroid atmosphere interaction processes, such as meteoroid ablation and fragmentation. Specular meteor radars detect meteor trails aligned perpendicular to the radar line-of-sight and have been used to estimate mesospheric wind fields and temperatures, as well as meteoroid populations, including previously unidentified meteor showers. High-power large-aperture radars have been used to study meteor head echoes and non-specular trail echoes. The latter are caused by a combination of magnetic field and dusty plasma effects, and have been used to get precise horizontal wind profiles in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. Meteor head echo observations have enabled the low-mass component of meteor showers and the sporadic complex to be studied, in addition to the small-scale details of meteoroid-atmosphere interaction processes.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Applied Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Applied Physics > Microwaves

UniBE Contributor:

Stober, Gunter


600 Technology > 620 Engineering




Cambridge Planetary Science


Cambridge University Press




Simone Corry

Date Deposited:

08 Apr 2020 11:01

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:37

Publisher DOI:






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