Particle-in-cell plasma simulations of the modified two-stream instability
Abstract. We model the modified two-stream plasma instability occurring in the ionospheric E-region using a 2.5-dimensional particle-in-cell code. Compared to previous similar work we concentrate on simulated quantities that can easily be measured in the real ionosphere by coherent radars or rockets, such as the Doppler velocity, the backscattered power, backscattered spectra, aspect angle behaviour and electron temperature enhancement. Despite using a relatively small simulation model, we obtain remarkably good agreement between actual observed and simulated plasma parameters. The advantage of such a small system is that we were able to perform (other than in previous related work) many simulation runs with different sets of input parameters, thus studying the unstable plasma under various conditions.