Articles | Volume 16, issue 7
31 Jul 1998
31 Jul 1998

Spatial structure of auroral day-time ionospheric electron density irregularities generated by a powerful HF-wave

E. D. Tereshchenko, B. Z. Khudukon, M. T. Rietveld, and A. Brekke

Abstract. We describe an experiment in satellite radio-wave probing of the ionosphere, modified by powerful waves from the HF heating facility at Tromsø (Norway) in May 1995. Amplitude scintillations and variations of the phase of VHF signals from Russian navigational satellites passing over the heated region were observed. We show that both large-scale electron density irregularities (several tens of kilometers in size) and small-scale ones (from hundreds of meters to kilometers) can be generated by the HF radiation. Maximum effects caused by small-scale irregularities detected in the satellite signals are observed in the directions sector approximately parallel to the geomagnetic field lines although large-scale structures can be detected within a much larger area. The properties of small-scale irregularities (electron density fluctuations) are investigated by applying a statistical analysis and by studying experimental and model mean values of the logarithm of the relative amplitude of the signal. The results indicate that satellite radio probing can be a supporting diagnostic technique for ionospheric heating and add valuable information to studies of effects produced by HF modification.

Key words. Satellite radio-wave probing · HF radiation · Electron density irregularities · Statistical analysis · Ionospheric heating