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Multi-frequency HF radar measurements of artificial F-region field-aligned irregularities

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Annales Geophysicae (2004) 22: 3503–3511 SRef-ID: 1432-0576/ag/2004-22-3503 © European Geosciences Union 2004 Annales Geophysicae Multi-frequency HF radar measurements of artificial F-region field-aligned irregularities A. Senior1, N. D. Borisov2, M. J. Kosch1, T. K. Yeoman3, F. Honary1, and M. T. Rietveld4 1Dept. of Communication Systems, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4WA, UK 2IZMIRAN, 142190 Troitsk, Moscow Region, Russia 3Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK 4EISCAT Scientific Association, Ramfjordmoen, 9027 Ramfjordbotn, Norway Received: 25 March 2003 – Revised: 5 July 2004 – Accepted: 15 July 2004 – Published: 3 November 2004 Abstract. We present radar backscatter power measure- ments using the CUTLASS HF radar at Hankasalmi, Fin- land from F-region field-aligned irregularities induced by HF radio pumping with the EISCAT Heating facility. A novel radar operating mode is used in which the radar fre- quency is rapidly swept through a number of bands, mak- ing use of the varying ionospheric refraction to probe dif- ferent heights within the heated region. We obtain height profiles of backscatter power which correspond to e-folding scale lengths of around 20 km for the mean-square electron density perturbations for pump wave interaction heights in the region of 240–250 km in daytime conditions. The results are in agreement with previous measurements made by other techniques. We discuss some problems with the method and suggest improvements for future experiments. Key words. Ionosphere (active experiments; ionospheric ir- regularities; instruments and techniques) 1 Introduction Artificial field-aligned irregularities (AFAI) are one of the most important effects produced by the interaction of a high power “heater” or “pump” high frequency (HF) wave with the F-region ionosphere (Gurevich, 1978; Robinson, 1989). In the vicinity of the layer where the pump fre- quency matches the local plasma upper-hybrid frequency, th

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