Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2021-31
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2021-31

  16 Jun 2021

16 Jun 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ANGEO and is expected to appear here in due course.

Observing electric field and neutral wind with EISCAT 3D

Johann Stamm, Juha Vierinen, and Björn Gustavsson Johann Stamm et al.
  • Institute for physics and technology, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway

Abstract. Measurements of height dependent electric field (E) and neutral wind (u) are important governing parameters of the Earth's upper atmosphere, which can be used to study e.g., how auroral currents close, or how energy flows between the ionized and neutral constituents. The new EISCAT 3D (E3D) incoherent scatter radar will be able to measure a three-dimensional ion velocity vector (v) at each measurement point, which will allow less stringent prior assumptions about E and u to be made when estimating them from radar measurements. This study investigates the feasibility of estimating the three-dimensional electric field and neutral wind vectors along a magnetic field-aligned altitude profile from E3D measurements, using the ion momentum equation and Maxwell's equations. The uncertainty of ion drift measurements is estimated for a time and height resolution of 5 s and 2 km. With the most favourable ionospheric conditions, the ion wind at E region peak can be measured with an accuracy of less than 1 m/s. In the worst case, during a geomagnetically quiet night, the uncertainty increases by a factor of around ten. The uncertainty of neutral wind and electric field estimates is found to be strongly dependent on the prior constraints imposed on them. In the lower E region, neutral wind estimates have a lower standard deviation than 10 m/s in the most favourable conditions. In such conditions, also the F region electric field can be estimated with uncertainty of about 1 mV/m. Simulated measurements of v are used to demonstrate the ability to resolve the field-aligned profile of E and u. However, they can only be determined well at the heights where they significantly influence the ion drift, that is above 125 km for E and below 115 km for u. At the other heights, the results are strongly dependent on the the prior assumptions of smoothness.

Johann Stamm et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on angeo-2021-31', Michael Kosch, 20 Jul 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Johann Stamm, 29 Jul 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on angeo-2021-31', Anonymous Referee #2, 30 Aug 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Johann Stamm, 07 Sep 2021

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on angeo-2021-31', Michael Kosch, 20 Jul 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Johann Stamm, 29 Jul 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on angeo-2021-31', Anonymous Referee #2, 30 Aug 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Johann Stamm, 07 Sep 2021

Johann Stamm et al.

Johann Stamm et al.

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Short summary
Measurements of the electric field and neutral wind in the ionosphere are important for understanding energy flows or electric currents. With incoherent scatter radars (ISR), we can measure the velocity of the ions, which depends on both the electrical field and the neutral wind. In the paper, we are investigating methods to use ISR data to find reasonable values for both parameters. We find that electric field can be well measured down to 125 km height and neutral wind below his height.