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The coincident measurements span 96 hours and altitudes between 80 and 100 km. Statistical comparisons are carried out on radar/lidar winds with 1 hour and 4 km time and height resolution, respectively. The RMS radar/lidar wind component differences observed in this study are in the range 12–17 m/s at altitudes below 96 km. This is smaller than the RMS differences observed in a previous Na lidar and meteor radar comparison. Lidar wind component variances exceed radar variances, and radar/lidar covariance, is nearly equal to the radar variance. Excess variance observed by the lidar is consistent with the fact that the meteor radar cannot resolve wind perturbations with horizontal scales smaller than ~200 km, whereas the lidar will respond to all horizontal scales. Close correspondence between the radar wind variance and radar/lidar covariance suggests that measurement errors associated with the radar winds are swamped by geophysical variation. Furthermore, the excess lidar variance exceeds lidar estimation errors by a large factor, indicating that the lidar measurement errors are also insignificant relative to geophysical variations. Together these observations suggest that the observed radar/lidar differences are a consequence of the different horizontal wave number filters associated with the techniques, and hence the differences are determined by the strength and shape of the horizontal wave number spectrum for wind perturbations at scales smaller than ~200 km.

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Journal of Geophysical Research