Mesosphere-Stratosphere-Troposphere (MST) Logo
NERC Mesosphere-Stratosphere-Troposphere (MST) Radar: mesospheric structure and dynamics oberservations, version 3
Update Frequency: Daily
Status: Ongoing
Online Status: ONLINE
Publication State: Published
Publication Date: 2012-09-27
Download Stats: last 12 months

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Mesosphere-Stratosphere-Troposphere (MST) Radar is operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council at the Radar Facility's (MSTRF's) site in Capel Dewi, near Aberystwyth, Mid-Wales. The 46.5 MHz pulsed Doppler radar is used primarily for making atmospheric observations over the approximate altitude range 2 - 20 km, i.e. over most of the troposphere and the lower stratosphere - hence the term "ST-mode". Additional observations are made over the approximate altitude range 56 - 96 km, i.e. covering the mesosphere - hence the term "M-mode" (see related dataset).

The instrument has been in operation, using the Dopppler Beam Swinging technique (see linked documentation for further details), since late 1989. It was intially operated on a campaign basis, but switched to quasi-continuous observations (i.e. close to 24-7 operation) in late 1997.

This dataset includes radial data products, i.e. range profiles along each beam pointing direction, and the "Cartesian" data products that are derived from them in the form of altitude profiles. The latter are used for most purposes. Data products are derived from the version 3 processing scheme, which supersedes earlier versions. Further details can be found via the linked documentation. Radial data products include:

signal power (relates to atmospheric structure)
radial velocity (relates to wind speed along the beam pointing direction)
spectral width (relates to turbulence intensity)

Cartesian data products include:

horizontal wind components (zonal and meridional)
vertical wind velocity
vertical beam signal power
tropopause altitude
vertical beam spectral width
radar return aspect sensitivity

Citable as:  Natural Environment Research Council Mesosphere-Stratosphere-Troposphere Radar Facility at Aberystwyth; Hooper, D.A. (2012): NERC Mesosphere-Stratosphere-Troposphere (MST) Radar: mesospheric structure and dynamics oberservations, version 3. NCAS British Atmospheric Data Centre, date of citation.
Keywords:  MST Radar, NERC, mesosphere, SNR, echo power, spectral width
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Data lineage:

Data are acquired by the MST radar facility and sent to the BADC within an hour of acquisition. Data are then immediately ingested into the BADC archives.

Data Quality:
The MST radar data quality is described by D. A. Hooper, J. Nash, T. Oakley, and M. Turp. Validation of a new signal processing scheme for the MST radar at Aberystwyth. Ann. Geophys., 26(11):3253-3268, 2008. (available from here
File Format:
Data are netCDF formatted
Process overview
This dataset was generated by instruments deployed on platforms as listed below.

Output Description
altitude (altitude) [m]  
eastward_wind (eastwar...) [m s-1]  
northward_wind (northwa...) [m s-1]  
radial_velocity_of_scatterers_away_from_instrument (radial_...) [m s-1]  
tropopause_altitude (tropopa...) [m]  
upward_wind (vertica...) [m s-1]  
latitude (latitude) [degrees...]  
longitude (longitude) [degrees...]  
time (time)  
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Temporal Range
Geographic Extent

-4.0055°     -4.0055°
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