Phenomena in the ionosphere-magnetosphere system induced by injection of powerful HF radio waves into nightside auroral ionosphere
Abstract. Experimental results from three ionospheric HF pumping experiments in overdense E or F regions are summarized. The experiments were conducted by the use of the EISCAT HF Heating facility located near Tromsø, Norway, allowing HF pumping the ionosphere in a near geomagnetic field-aligned direction. Distinctive features related to auroral activations in the course of the experiments are identified. Typical features observed in all experiments are the following: generation of scattered components in dynamic HF radio scatter Doppler spectra; strong increase of ion temperatures Ti and local ionospheric electric field E0; modification of the auroral arc and local spiral-like formation. However, some effects were observed only when the HF pump wave was reflected from the F2 layer. Among them are the generation of intense field-aligned ion outflows, and a strong increase in the electron temperature Te with altitude. A possible scenario for the substorm triggering due to HF pumping into an auroral ionosphere is discussed. The authors present their interpretation of the data as follows. It is suggested that two populations of charged particles are at play. One of them is the runaway population of electrons and ions from the ionosphere caused by the effects of the powerful HF radio wave. The other is the population of electrons that precipitate from the magnetosphere. It is shown that the hydrodynamical equilibrium was disrupted due to the effects of the HF pumping. We estimate that the parallel electric field can reach values of the order of 30mV/m during substorm triggering.