Articles | Volume 27, issue 5
04 May 2009
 | 04 May 2009

What can we learn from HF signal scattered from a discrete arc?

E. Séran, M. Godefroy, K. Kauristie, J.-C. Cerisier, J.-J. Berthelier, M. Lester, and L.-E. Sarri

Abstract. We present observations of a discrete southward propagating arc which appeared in the mid-night sector at latitudes equatorward of main substorm activity. The arc observations were made simultaneously by the ALFA (Auroral Light Fine Analysis) optical camera, the SuperDARN-CUTLASS HF radar and the Demeter satellite during a coordinated multi-instrumental campaign conducted at the KEOPS/ESRANGE site in December 2006. The SuperDARN HF signal which is often lost in the regions of strong electron precipitation yields in our case clear backscatter from an isolated arc of weak intensity. Consequently we are able to study arc dynamics, the formation of meso-scale irregularities of the electron density along the arc, compare the arc motion with the convection of surrounding plasma and discuss the contribution of ionospheric ions in the arc erosion and its propagation.