Articles | Volume 27, issue 7
07 Jul 2009
 | 07 Jul 2009

Artificial E-region field-aligned plasma irregularities generated at pump frequencies near the second electron gyroharmonic

D. L. Hysell and E. Nossa

Abstract. E region ionospheric modification experiments have been performed at HAARP using pump frequencies about 50 kHz above and below the second electron gyroharmonic frequency. Artificial E region field-aligned plasma density irregularities (FAIs) were created and observed using the imaging coherent scatter radar near Homer, Alaska. Echoes from FAIs generated with pump frequencies above and below 2Ωe did not appear to differ significantly in experiments conducted on summer afternoons in 2008, and the resonance instability seemed to be at work in either case. We argue that upper hybrid wave trapping and resonance instability at pump frequencies below the second electron gyroharmonic frequency are permitted theoretically when the effects of finite parallel wavenumbers are considered. Echoes from a sporadic E layer were observed to be somewhat weaker when the pump frequency was 50 kHz below the second electron gyroharmonic frequency. This may indicate that finite parallel wavenumbers are inconsistent with wave trapping in thin sporadic E ionization layers.