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Atmospheric Waves Experiment

Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: IE


Context: NASA’s Atmospheric Waves Experiment (AWE) is a ground-breaking mission designed to study the interactions between terrestrial and space weather.

  • It aims to investigate one of the key drivers of space weather – Earth’s weather.
  • The study is crucial due to the increasing reliance on satellite-based services for navigation and communication, making forecasts and data on space weather vital.


About Atmospheric Waves Experiment:

  • The AWE mission will focus on studying Atmospheric Gravity Waves (AGW), a type of vertical wave generated by extreme weather events or sudden disturbances causing a vertical displacement of stable air.
  • These waves, including AGWs, play a role in space weather, affecting the overall weather, climate, and space conditions.
  • It will measure airglow at the mesopause (85 to 87 km above Earth), capturing faint airglow in the infrared bandwidth.
  • The mission will use an Advanced Mesospheric Temperature Mapper (ATMT) to scan the mesopause, mapping the brightness of light at specific wavelengths


About Space Weather:

Space weather refers to the environmental conditions around Earth and other planets influenced by the Sun’s activities, such as solar flares and emissions, as well as the prevailing matter in space.

Severe space weather events can impact critical Earth installations like satellite-based communication, radio communication, navigation systems, and power grids