WN4 effect on longitudinal distribution of different ion species in the topside ionosphere at low latitudes by means of DEMETER, DMSP-F13 and DMSP-F15 data
Abstract. Plasma probe data from DMSP-F13, DMSP-F15 and DEMETER satellites were used to examine longitudinal structures in the topside equatorial ionosphere during fall equinox conditions of 2004 year. Since the launch of DEMETER satellite on 29 June 2004, all these satellites operate close together in the topside ionosphere. Here, data taken from Special Sensor-Ion, Electron and Scintillations (SSIES) instruments on board DMSP-F13, F15 and Instrument Analyser de Plasma (IAP) on DEMETER, are used. Longitudinal variations in the major ions at two altitudes (~730 km for DEMETER and ~840 km for DMSP) are studied to further describe the recently observed "wavenumber-four" (WN4) structures in the equatorial topside ionosphere. Different ion species H+, He+ and O+ have a rather complex longitudinal behavior. It is shown that WN4 is almost a regular feature in O+ the density distribution over all local times covered by these satellites. In the evening local time sector, H+ ions follow the O+ behavior within WN4 structures up to the pre-midnight hours. Near sunrise H+ and later in the daytime, He+ longitudinal variations are out of phase with respect to O+ ions and effectively reduce the effect of WN4 on total ion density distribution at altitudes 730–840 km. It is shown that both a WN4 E×B drift driver and local F-region winds must be considered to explain the observed ion composition variations.