Imaging observations of nighttime mid-latitude F-region field-aligned irregularities by an MU radar ultra-multi-channel system
Abstract. Mid-latitude F-region field-aligned irregularities (FAIs) were studied by using the middle-and-upper atmosphere (MU) radar ultra-multi-channel system with the radar imaging technique. On 12 June 2006, F-region FAI echoes with a period of about one hour were observed intermittently. These echoes were found to be embedded in medium-scale traveling ionospheric disturbances (MSTIDs) observed as variations of total electron content (TEC). The echoes drifting away from (toward) the radar were observed in the depletion (enhancement) phase of the MSTID. The Doppler velocity of the echoes is consistent with the range rates in the the range-time-intensity (RTI) maps. Fine scale structures with a spatial scale of 10 km or less were found by the radar imaging analysis. Those structures with positive Doppler velocities (moving away from the radar) appeared to drift north- (up-) westward, and those with negative Doppler velocities south- (down-) eastward approximately along the wavefronts of the MSTID. FAIs with positive Doppler velocities filling TEC depletion regions were observed.