First EISCAT measurement of electron-gas temperature in the artificially heated D-region ionosphere
Abstract. The ionospheric electron gas can be heated artificially by a powerful radio wave. According to our modeling, the maximum effect of this heating occurs in the D-region where the electron temperature can increase by a factor of ten. Ionospheric plasma parameters such as Ne, Te and Ti are measured by EISCAT incoherent scatter radar on a routine basis. However, in the D-region the incoherent scatter echo is very weak because of the low electron density. Moreover, the incoherent scatter spectrum from the D-region is of Lorentzian shape which gives less information than the spectrum from the E- and F-regions. These make EISCAT measurements in the D-region difficult. A combined EISCAT VHF-radar and heating experiment was carried out in November 1998 with the aim to measure the electron temperature increase due to heating. In the experiment the heater was switched on/off at 5 minute intervals and the integration time of the radar was chosen synchronously with the heating cycle. A systematic difference in the measured autocorrelation functions was found between heated and unheated periods.
Key words: Ionosphere (active experiments; plasma temperature and density; wave propagation)