Articles | Volume 24, issue 9
20 Sep 2006
 | 20 Sep 2006

Effects of high-latitude atmospheric gravity wave disturbances on artificial HF radar backscatter

A. Senior, M. J. Kosch, T. K. Yeoman, M. T. Rietveld, and I. W. McCrea

Abstract. Observations of HF radar backscatter from artificial field-aligned irregularities in an ionosphere perturbed by travelling disturbances due to atmospheric gravity waves are presented. Some features of the spatio-temporal structure of the artificial radar backscatter can be explained in terms of the distortion of the ionosphere resulting from the travelling disturbances. The distorted ionosphere can allow the HF pump wave to access upper-hybrid resonance at larger distances from the transmitter than are normally observed and can also prevent the pump wave reaching this resonance at close distances. The variation in altitude of the irregularities sometimes results in a significant variation in the elevation angle of arrival of the backscattered signal at the radar implying that the radar "sees" a target moving in altitude. We suggest that this may be evidence of off-orthogonal scattering from the irregularities.