Articles | Volume 26, issue 2
Ann. Geophys., 26, 295–304, 2008

Special issue: 3rd European Space Weather Week (ESWW)

Ann. Geophys., 26, 295–304, 2008

  26 Feb 2008

26 Feb 2008

Wave and plasma measurements and GPS diagnostics of the main ionospheric trough as a hybrid method used for Space Weather purposes

H. Rothkaehl1, A. Krakowski2, I. Stanislawska1, J. Błęcki1, M. Parrot3, J.-J. Berthelier4, and J.-P. Lebreton5 H. Rothkaehl et al.
  • 1Space Research Centre PAS 00-716 Warsaw, Bartycka 18A, Poland
  • 2University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
  • 3LPCE/CNRS 3A, avenue de la Recherche Scientifique 45071 Orléans cedex 02, France
  • 4CETP/ Observatoire de Saint-Maur 4, avenue de Neptune 94107 Saint-Maur-des-Fossés Cedex, France
  • 5RSSD/ESTEC/ESA Postbus 2992200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands

Abstract. The region of the main ionospheric trough is a unique region of the ionosphere, where different types of waves and instabilities can be generated. This region of the ionosphere acts like a lens, focusing a variety of indicators from the equator of plasmapause and local ionospheric plasma. This paper reports the results of monitoring the mid-latitude trough structure, dynamics and wave activity. For these purposes, the data gathered by the currently-operating DEMETER satellite and past diagnostics located on IK-19, Apex, and MAGION-3 spacecraft, as well as TEC measurements were used. A global-time varying picture of the ionospheric trough was reconstructed using the sequence of wave spectra registered and plasma measurements in the top-side ionosphere. The authors present the wave activity from ULF frequency band to the HF frequency detected inside the trough region and discuss its properties during geomagnetic disturbances. It is thought that broadband emissions are correlated with low frequency radiation, which is excited by the wave-particle interaction in the equatorial plasmapause and moves to the ionosphere along the geomagnetic field line. In the ionosphere, the suprathermal electrons can interact with these electrostatic waves and excite electron acoustic waves or HF longitudinal plasma waves.

Furthermore, the electron density trough can provide useful data on the magnetosphere ionosphere dynamics and morphology and, in consequence, can be used for Space Weather purposes.