Estimating uncertainties in incoherent scatter radar parameters from random variations in time series data
Abstract. The variation of parameters in time series data from the EISCAT UHF incoherent scatter radar has been used to estimate the uncertainties in measurements of electron concentration, electron and ion temperature and line-of-sight ion velocity. Good agreement was found with the results of previous analyses that estimated uncertainties in velocity and electron temperature from similar data using a complementary method. By contrast, uncertainties in ion temperature and electron concentration estimated from the same time series data were found to differ from the expected theoretical values by factors of 1.8 and 2.7, respectively. It was found that the relative sizes of these uncertainties more closely matched those predicted by a previous Monte Carlo simulation than values predicted by currently accepted theoretical formulae. Although the specific measured and theoretical uncertainties reported here relate to a very simple kind of ISR experiment, the method itself is general and can be applied to data from any incoherent scatter radar.