Date of Award

Summer 2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Physics - (M.S.)

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Andrew Gerrard

Second Advisor

Dale E. Gary

Third Advisor

John Francis Federici

Abstract

Gravity waves are a dominant driver of the middle and lower atmospheric circulation. Yet such waves have been difficult to study due to their inherent small spatial and temporal scales and synoptic occurrence, and thus require advanced experimental systems. In this thesis first results are presented from a newly constructed tropospheric-stratospheric lidar operating at the New Jersey Institute of Technology-United Astronomy Clubs of New Jersey site in Jenny Jump State Forest in northwest New Jersey. The system utilizes a 4-W 532-nm Nd:YAG laser transmitter and a 4-inch telescope receiver to collect backscattered photons from the lower atmosphere in order to observe gravity wave structure in the troposphere and stratosphere. Advances in the optics design and receiver mount have improved the alignment and operation of the system. Relative density perturbation calculations show reflecting wave structure during the July 3, 2012 campaign above 10-km, and hint at the complexity of gravity wave reflections between the stratosphere and the ground.

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