Probing of medium-scale traveling ionospheric disturbances using HF-induced scatter targets
Abstract. Experimental results from the Tromsø and Sura heating experiments at high and mid-latitudes are examined. It is shown that the combination of HF-induced target and bi-static HF Doppler radio scatter observations is a profitable method for probing medium-scale traveling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs) at high and mid-latitudes. HF ionospheric modification experiments provide a way of producing the HF-induced scatter target in a controlled manner at altitudes where the sensitivity to TIDs is highest. Bi-static HF Doppler radio scatter observations were carried out on the London-Tromsø-St. Petersburg path in the course of a Tromsø heating experiment on 16 November 2004 when the pump wave was reflected from an auroral Es-layer. During Sura heating experiments on 19 and 20 August 2004, when the HF pump wave was reflected from the F2 ionospheric layer, multi-position bi-static HF Doppler radio scatter observations were simultaneously performed at three reception points including St. Petersburg, Kharkov, and Rostov-on-Don. Ray tracing and Doppler shift simulations were made for all experiments. A computational technique has been developed allowing the reconstruction of the TID phase velocities from multi-position bi-static HF Doppler scatters. Parameters of medium-scale TIDs were found. In all experiments they were observed in the evening and pre-midnight hours. TIDs in the auroral E-region with periods of about 23 min were traveling southward at speeds of 210 m/s. TIDs in the mid-latitudinal F-region with periods from 20 to 45 min travelled at speeds between 40 and 150 m/s. During quiet magnetic conditions the waves were traveling in the north-east direction. In disturbed conditions the waves were moving in the south-west direction with higher speeds as compared with quiet conditions. Possible sources for the atmospheric gravity waves at middle and high latitudes are discussed.