We simulate space-based, sub-limb viewing observations of airglow brightness fluctuations caused by atmospheric gravity wave interactions with the O2 atmospheric airglow, and we demonstrate that, due to the geometry associated with such observations, the brightness fluctuations observed for the optically thick 0–0 band emission will always appear stronger for waves traveling towards the observer (satellite). The effect should be most noticeable for waves having relatively small vertical wavelengths (∼10 km) and horizontal wavelengths of 50 km or greater. For waves of short (∼100 km) horizontal wavelength, the brightness fluctuation anisotropy with respect to viewing direction may also be evident in the optically thin 0–1 band emission. Therefore, the 180° ambiguity in wave propagation direction associated with space-based observations may be eliminated for waves dissipating in the upper mesosphere and lower thermosphere.
Geophysical Research Letters
American Geophysical Union
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Hickey, M. P., & Brown, J. S. (2000). Resolving Ambiguities in Gravity Wave Propagation Directions Inherent in Satellite Observations: A Simulation Study. Geophysical Research Letters, 27(18). https://doi.org/10.1029/1999GL011331