MIPAS provides first global day- and nighttime temperature and NO measurements in the thermosphere
The left panel shows kinetic temperatures, while the right panel shows NO mixing ratios. Low thermospheric abundances are prohibitive to retrieve thermospheric kinetic temperature from CO2 transitions, as it is usually done for lower atmospheric altitudes. Instead, the fact that MIPAS measurements resolves ro-vibrational lines as well as spin folds is used to retrieve simultaneously both kinetic temperatures and NO abundances.
Since thermospheric NO is strongly in local thermodynamic disequilibrium either, a dedicated model is reqired to model the non-Boltzmann distributions of excited states. The Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía - CSIC is a world leading institution in this research field and contribute with their expertise to the MIPAS data processor operated at IMK.
For further details see:http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011JA016752.shtml