AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 45. The Solar System
Poster, Tuesday, January 7, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[45.02U] Monitoring the yearly sporadic Micrometeor Flux into the upper Atmosphere using the Arecibo Dual-Beam 430 MHz Radar

D.E. Moser (UIUC), D. Janches (Arecibo Observatory and Penn State Univ.), D.D. Meisel (SUNY-Geneseo), M.C. Nolan (Arecibo Observatory), B.D. Bartlett (SUNY-Geneseo), J.D. Mathews (Penn State Univ.)

A year long program of observations and study of the micrometeor flux into the upper atmosphere using the dual-beam 430 MHz Arecibo radar (AO) in Puerto Rico began in January 2002. The AO radar detects decelerating particles in the size range 0.5-100 microns for which precise altitude, instantaneous Doppler velocity, and (linear) deceleration are obtained. This provides a tool for the study of a mass-region of the interplanetary dust distribution that was previously inaccessible to ground-based instruments and helps bridge the gap between spacecraft dust measurements and traditional meteor radar capabilities. Each month, a minimum of one 14-hour interval of observations (18:00-08:00 hrs LT) is collected. The antenna line feed is pointed vertically while the Gregorian feed is pointed at a zenith angle of 15 degrees. The off-vertical radar beam is initially placed pointing north and every 30 minutes is rotated 180 degrees. Over 10000 events are observed daily inside the 300m diameter beam, within an observed altitude range of 80-140 km (150 m height resolution). With the application of a Doppler technique, instantaneous meteor velocities are obtained with errors on the order of 10-100 m/sec. Orbital results derived from the observations performed in January and June are presented and discussed.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.