Improving the Accuracy of Meteoroid Mass Estimates from Head Echo Deceleration

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Abstract

This paper examines current techniques used to determine meteoroid mass from high-power, large aperture (HPLA) radar observations. We demonstrate why the standard approach of fitting a polynomial to velocity measurements gives inaccurate results by applying this technique to artificial datasets. We then suggest an alternate approach, fitting velocity data to an ablation model. Using data taken at the Jicamarca Radio Observatory in July 2005, we compare the results of both methods and demonstrate that fitting velocity data to an ablation model yields a reasonable result in some instances where alternate methods produce physically unrealistic mass estimates.

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