Articles | Volume 23, issue 3
30 Mar 2005
 | 30 Mar 2005

Simultaneous VHF radar backscatter and ionosonde observations of low-latitude E region

A. K. Patra, S. Sripathi, P. B. Rao, and K. S. V. Subbarao

Abstract. The first results of simultaneous observations made on the low-latitude field-aligned irregularities (FAI) using the MST radar located at Gadanki (13.5° N, 79.2° E, dip 12.5°) and the Es parameters using an ionosonde at a nearby station Sriharikota (13.7° N, 80.1° E, dip 12.6°) are presented. The observations show that while the height of the most intense radar echoes is below the virtual height of Es (h'Es) during daytime, it is found to be either below or above during nighttime. The strength of the FAI is better correlated with the top penetration frequency (ftEs) and the blanketing frequency (fbEs) during the night (r=0.4 in both cases) as compared to the day (r=0.35 and -0.04, respectively). Furthermore, the signal strength of FAI is reasonably correlated with (ftEs-fbEs) during daytime (r=0.59) while very poorly correlated during nighttime (r=0.18). While the radar observations in general appear to have characteristics close to that of mid-latitudes, the relationship of these with the Es parameters are poorer than that of mid-latitudes. The observations reported here, nevertheless, are quite consistent with the expectations based on the gradient drift instability mechanism.