20 Jul 2021

20 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

Modelling of the influence of meteoric smoke particles on artificial heating in the D-region

Margaretha Myrvang1, Carsten Baumann2, and Ingrid Mann1 Margaretha Myrvang et al.
  • 1UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Department of Physics and Technology, Postboks 6050 Langnes, 9037 Tromsø
  • 2German Aerospace Center, Institute for solar-Terrestrial Physics, 17235 Neustrelitz, Germany

Abstract. We investigate if the presence of meteoric smoke particles (MSP) influences the electron temperature during artfical heating in the D-region. The presence of MSP can result in height regions with reduced electron density, so-called electron bite-outs, due to charging of MSP by electrons. Artificial heating depends on the height variation of electron density. By transferring the energy of powerful high frequency radio waves into thermal energy of electrons, artificial heating increases the electron temperature. We simulate the influence of the artificial heating by calculating the intensity of the upward propagating radio wave. The electron temperature at each height is derived from the balance of radio wave absorption and cooling through elastic and inelastic collisions with neutral species.

The influence of MSP is investigated by including results from a one-dimensional height-dependent ionospheric model that includes electrons, positively and negatively charged ions, neutral MSP, singly positively and singly negatively charged MSP and photo chemistry such as photo ionization and photo detachment. We apply typical ionospheric conditions and find that MSP can influence both the magnitude and the height profile of the heated electron temperature above 80 km, however this depends on ionospheric conditions. During night, the presence of MSP leads to more efficient heating, and thus a higher electron temperature, above altitudes of 80 km. We found differences up to 1000 K in temperature for calculations with and without MSP. When MSP are present, the heated electron temperature decreases more slowly. The presence of MSP does not much affect the heating below 80 km for night conditions. For day conditions, the difference between the heated electron temperature with MSP and without MSP is less than 25 K.

Margaretha Myrvang et al.

Status: open (until 31 Aug 2021)

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Margaretha Myrvang et al.

Margaretha Myrvang et al.


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Short summary
Our model calculations indicate that meteoric smoke particles (MSP) influence both the magnitude and shape of the electron temperature during artificial heating. Others have found that current theoretical models most likely overestimate heating in the D-region compared to observations. In a future study, we will compare of our results to observations of the electron temperature during heating to investigate if the presence of MSP can explain the discrepancy between model and observations.