The University of Bath Atmospheric dynamics group is involved in studies of the winds, waves and tides at the edge of space in the very different physical regimes encountered at Polar, middle and equatorial latitudes. Lying between about 50 and 110 km, the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) plays a vital role in coupling the neutral lower atmosphere and the electrically charged upper atmosphere. Our goal is to understand the physical processes that control the waves and tides in the MLT region, and to understand the role these phenomena play in coupling the lower, middle and upper atmosphere.
There is also mounting evidence that this part of the atmosphere is an important and sensitive indicator of the health of our atmosphere as a whole. This is particularly true for the polar regions where changes in phenomena like the beautiful and ghostly nocilucent clouds are indicators of long-term changes in the atmosphere.
We use ground-based VHF meteor radars in conjunction with other data sets to study the dynamics and temperature of the Earth's mesosphere and lower thermosphere - in particular mean winds, tides and planetary waves.