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Topside sounders as mobile ionospheric heatersThere is evidence that satellite-borne RF sounders can act as mobile ionospheric heaters in addition to performing topside sounding. The main objective of topside sounding is to use sounder-generated electromagnetic (em) waves to obtain ionospheric topside vertical electron-density (N(sub e) profiles. These profiles are obtained from mathematical inversions of the frequency vs. delay-time ionospheric reflection traces. In addition to these em reflection traces, a number of narrowband intense signals are observed starting at zero delay times after the transmitted pulses. Some of these signals, termed plasma resonances, appear at characteristic frequencies of the ambient medium such as at the electron cyclotron frequency f(sub ce), the harmonics nf(sub ce), the electron plasma frequency f(sub pe) and the upper-hybrid frequency f(sub uh), where (f(sub uh))(exp 2) = (f(sub ce))(exp 2) + (f(sub pe))(exp 2) . These signals have been attributed to the oblique echoes of sounder-generated electrostatic (es) waves. These resonances provide accurate in situ f(sub pe) and f(sub ce) values which, in turn, lead to accurate N(sub e) and [B] values where B is the ambient magnetic field. Resonances are also observed between the nf(sub ce) harmonics both above and below f(sub uh). The former, known as the Qn plasma resonances, are mainly attributed to the matching of the wave group velocity of sounder-generated (Bernstein-mode) es waves to the satellite velocity. The frequency spectrum of these waves in the magnetosphere can be used to detect non-Maxwellian electron velocity-distributions. In addition, these resonances also exhibit components that appear to be the result of plasma emissions stimulated by the sounder pulses. The plasma resonances observed between the nf(sub ce) harmonics and below f(sub uh), known as the Dn plasma resonances, are entirely attributed to such sounder-stimulated plasma emissions. There are other sounder-stimulated plasma phenomena that also fall into this category, e.g., ion affects on electron-resonant phenomena, proton-cyclotron echoes and N(sub e) field-aligned irregularities (FAI). Some of these phenomena are more pronounced when f(sub pe)/f(sub ce) approx. = n where n is an integer significantly greater than one. The observations suggest that the sounder-stimulated plasma phenomena are stimulated, or enhanced, on a time scale much less than one second. The purpose of this presentation is to review the above topics with particular emphasis on the sounder-stimulated plasma phenomena.
Document ID
Document Type
Benson, R. F. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2006
Subject Category
Electronics and Electrical Engineering
Meeting Information
12th Annual RF Ionospheric Interactions Workshop(Santa Fe, NM)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.