Articles | Volume 16, issue 6
Special issue:
30 Jun 1998
30 Jun 1998

Fabry-Perot interferometer measurements of neutral winds and F2 layer variations at the magnetic equator

P. Vila, D. Rees, P. Merrien, and E. Kone

Abstract. This letter presents some night-time observations of neutral wind variations at F2 layer levels near the dip equator, measured by the Fabry-Perot interferometer set up in 1994 at Korhogo (Ivory Coast, geographic latitude 9.25°N, longitude 355°E, dip latitude –2.5°). Our instrument uses the 630 nm (O1D) line to determine radial Doppler velocities of the oxygen atoms between 200 and 400 km altitude. First results for November 1994 to March 1995 reveal persistent eastward flows, and frequent intervals of southward winds of larger than 50 ms–1 velocity. Compared with the simultaneous ionospheric patterns deduced from the three West African equatorial ionosondes at Korhogo, Ouagadougou (Burkina-Faso, dip latitude +1.5°) and Dakar (Sénégal, dip latitude +5°), they illustrate various impacts of the thermospheric winds on F2 layer density: (1) on the mesoscale evolution (a few 103 km and a few 100 minutes scales) and (2) on local fluctuations (hundreds of km and tens of minutes characteristic times). We report on these fluctuations and discuss the opportunity to improve the time-resolution of the Fabry-Perot interferometer at Korhogo.

Key words. Ionosphere (Equatorial ionosphere; Ionosphere-atmosphere interaction) · Meteorology and Atmospheric Dynamics (General circulation)

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