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On October 26, 2000, a Black Brant V sounding rocket carrying a chemical tracer release was launched from the rocket range at White Sands, New Mexico, as part of the Turbulent Oxygen Mixing Experiment (TOMEX). The releases occurred approximately 150 km from the location of the Starfire Optical Range where the University of Illinois sodium lidar was operated to measure winds and temperatures in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. The geometry for the experiment was such that the lidar beam was able to intersect the release point for the chemical tracer trail on the upleg part of the flight near an altitude of 95 km. In all, a total of five lidar beam directions were used to sample the region from approximately 85 to 105-km altitude in the vicinity of the releases. Combining the lidar Doppler velocity data from the various beam directions made it possible to produce profiles of vector horizontal winds that could be compared directly with the winds obtained from the triangulation of the chemical tracer trails.

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Geophysical Research Letters