Correlation between cosmic noise absorption and VHF coherent echo intensity
Abstract. We present examples and statistical analysis of the events with statistically significant correlation between the cosmic noise absorption (CNA) and the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the VHF coherent echo intensity in the area monitored simultaneously by an imaging riometer and two oblique-sounding coherent VHF radars in Northern Scandinavia. By only considering the observations from the narrow riometer beams comparable (in terms of the intersection with the ionosphere) with the VHF radar cells, we identify ~200 one-hour high correlation periods (HCPs) for 2 years near the solar cycle maximum, 2000–2001. The HCP occurrence is maximized in the afternoon (12:00–17:00 UT, MLT≅UT+3), with the secondary peak near the midnight (21:00–02:00 UT). Relative to the VHF echo occurrence, HCPs occur more frequently from 11:00 to 20:00 UT. The diurnal variation of HCP occurrence is similar to that of the 1-h intervals with the lowest mean absorption A<0.25dB.
The HCPs are observed more frequently during the winter months, which, combined with the fact that VHF echoes observed during HCPs exhibit features typical for field-aligned E-region irregularities, makes their association with the polar mesospheric echoes (for which some positive CNA/SNR correlation has been reported in the past) very unlikely. Instead, we attribute the high positive CNA/SNR correlation to the synchronous, to a first approximation, variation of the particle fluxes for two different but close sets of energies.
By considering the dependence of the CNA/SNR correlation coefficients for both VHF radars (CA1 and CA2) upon the correlation between SNRs for two radars (C12), we show that both coefficients, CA1 and CA2, and the agreement between them decrease drastically with a C12 decrease, which we interpreted through the progressively increasing role of the spatial inhomogeneity of the processes leading to the enhanced CNA and SNR. In this situation, a similarity between the radio signal collection areas should become important, and we demonstrate that the HCP occurrence and mean correlation coefficient decrease as the riometer beams and radar cells become less comparable in terms of mutual orientation and closeness between the points of maximum sensitivity.
Keywords. Ionosphere (Auroral ionosphere; Particle precipitation; Instruments and techniques)