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Polar mesosphere summer echoes: a comparison of simultaneous observations at three wavelengths
E. Belova, P. Dalin,S. Kirkwood
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2008,
Abstract: On 5 July 2005, simultaneous observations of Polar Mesosphere Summer Echoes (PMSE) were made using the EISCAT VHF (224 MHz) and UHF (933 MHz) radars located near Troms , Norway and the ALWIN VHF radar (53.5 MHz) situated on And ya, 120 km SW of the EISCAT site. During the short interval from 12:20 UT until 12:26 UT strong echoes at about 84 km altitude were detected with all three radars. The radar volume reflectivities were found to be 4×10 13 m 1, 1.5×10 14 m 1 and 1.5×10 18 m 1 for the ALWIN, EISCAT-VHF and UHF radars, respectively. We have calculated the reflectivity ratios for each pair of radars and have compared them to ratios obtained from the turbulence-theory model proposed by Hill (1978a). We have tested different values of the turbulent energy dissipation rate ε and Schmidt number Sc, which are free parameters in the model, to try to fit theoretical reflectivity ratios to the experimental ones. No single combination of the parameters ε and Sc could be found to give a good fit. Spectral widths for the EISCAT radars were estimated from the spectra computed from the autocorrelation functions obtained in the experiment. After correction for beam-width broadening, the spectral widths are about 4 m/s for the EISCAT-VHF and 1.5–2 m/s for the UHF radar. However, according to the turbulence theory, the spectral widths in m/s should be the same for both radars. We also tested an incoherent scatter (IS) model developed by Cho et al. (1998), which takes into account the presence of charged aerosols/dust at the summer mesopause. It required very different sizes of particles for the EISCAT-VHF and UHF cases, to be able to fit the experimental spectra with model spectra. This implies that the IS model cannot explain PMSE spectra, at least not for monodisperse distributions of particles.
Meteor head echo altitude distributions and the height cutoff effect studied with the EISCAT HPLA UHF and VHF radars
A. Westman, G. Wannberg,A. Pellinen-Wannberg
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2004,
Abstract: Meteor head echo altitude distributions have been derived from data collected with the EISCAT VHF (224MHz) and UHF (930MHz) high-power, large-aperture (HPLA) radars. At the high-altitude end, the distributions cut off abruptly in a manner reminiscent of the trail echo height ceiling effect observed with classical meteor radars. The target dimensions are shown to be much smaller than both the VHF and the UHF probing wavelengths, but the cutoff heights for the two systems are still clearly different, the VHF cutoff being located several km above the UHF one. A single-collision meteor-atmosphere interaction model is used to demonstrate that meteors in the (1.3–7.2)μg mass range will ionise such that critical electron density at 224MHz is first reached at or around the VHF cutoff altitude and critical density at 930MHz will be reached at the UHF cutoff altitude. The observed seasonal variation in the cutoff altitudes is shown to be a function of the seasonal variation of atmospheric density with altitude. Assuming that the electron density required for detection is in the order of the critical density, the abrupt altitude cutoffs can be explained as a consequence of the micrometeoroid joint size-speed distribution dropping off so fast at the large-mass, high-velocity end that above a certain altitude the number of detectable events becomes vanishingly small. Conversely, meteors at the low-mass end of the distribution will be gradually retarded such that the ionisation they generate never reaches critical density. These particles will remain unobservable. Key words. Radio science (instruments and techniques) – Interplatery physics (interplanetary dust) – General or miscellaneous (new fields)
A comparison of velocity measurements from the CUTLASS Finland radar and the EISCAT UHF system  [PDF]
J. A. Davies,M. Lester,S. E. Milan,T. K. Yeoman
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2003,
Abstract: The CUTLASS Finland radar, which comprises an integral part of the SuperDARN system of HF coherent radars, provides near continuous observations of high-latitude plasma irregularities within a field-of-view which extends over some four million square kilometres. Within the Finland radar field-of-view lie both the EISCAT mainland and EISCAT Svalbard incoherent scatter radar facilities. Since the CUTLASS Finland radar commenced operation, in February 1995, the mainland EISCAT UHF radar has been run in common programme 1 and 2 modes for a total duration exceeding 1000 h. Simultaneous and spatially coincident returns from these two radars over this period provide the basis for a comparison of irregularity drift velocity and F-region ion velocity. Initial comparison is limited to velocities from four intervals of simultaneous radar returns; intervals are selected such that they exhibit a variety of velocity signatures including that characteristic of the convection reversal and a rapidly fluctuating velocity feature. Subsequent comparison is on a statistical basis. The velocities measured by the two systems demonstrate reasonable correspondence over the velocity regime encountered during the simultaneous occurrence of coherent and incoherent scatter; differences between the EISCAT UHF measurements of F-region ion drift and the irregularity drift velocities from the Finland radar are explained in terms of a number of contributing factors including contamination of the latter by E-region echoes, a factor which is investigated further, and the potentially deleterious effect of discrepant volume and time sampling intervals. Key words. Ionosphere (ionospheric irregularities; plasma convection)
Meteor head echo polarization at 930 MHz studied with the EISCAT UHF HPLA radar
G. Wannberg, A. Westman,A. Pellinen-Wannberg
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2011,
Abstract: The polarization characteristics of 930-MHz meteor head echoes have been studied for the first time, using data obtained in a series of radar measurements carried out with the tristatic EISCAT UHF high power, large aperture (HPLA) radar system in October 2009. An analysis of 44 tri-static head echo events shows that the polarization of the echo signal recorded by the Kiruna receiver often fluctuates strongly on time scales of tens of microseconds, illustrating that the scattering process is essentially stochastic. On longer timescales (> milliseconds), more than 90 % of the recorded events show an average polarization signature that is independent of meteor direction of arrival and echo strength and equal to that of an incoherent-scatter return from underdense plasma filling the tristatic observation volume. This shows that the head echo plasma targets scatter isotropically, which in turn implies that they are much smaller than the 33-cm wavelength and close to spherically symmetric, in very good agreement with results from a previous EISCAT UHF study of the head echo RCS/meteor angle-of-incidence relationship. Significant polarization is present in only three events with unique target trajectories. These all show a larger effective target cross section transverse to the trajectory than parallel to it. We propose that the observed polarization may be a signature of a transverse charge separation plasma resonance in the region immediately behind the meteor head, similar to the resonance effects previously discussed in connection with meteor trail echoes by Herlofson, Billam and Browne, Jones and Jones and others.
Mesospheric observations with the EISCAT UHF radar during polar cap absorption events: 3. Comparison with simultaneous EISCAT VHF measurements  [PDF]
P. N. Collis,M. T. Rietveld
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2003,
Abstract: Mesospheric observations were obtained by the EISCAT UHF and VHF radars during the solar proton event of March 1990. We present the first comparison of incoherent-scatter spectral measurements from the middle mesosphere using simultaneous, co-located observations by the two radars. VHF spectra observed with a vertical antenna were found to be significantly narrower than model predictions, in agreement with earlier UHF results. For antenna pointing directions that were significantly away from the vertical, the wider VHF radar beam gave rise to broadening of the observed spectra due to vertical shears in the horizontal wind. In this configuration, UHF spectral measurements were found to be more suitable for aeronomical applications. Both radar systems provide consistent and reliable estimates of the neutral wind. Spectral results using both the multipulse and pulse-to-pulse schemes were intercompared and their suitability for application to combined mesosphere – lower thermosphere studies investigated. Key words. Mesophere · Lower thermosphere · EISCAT UHF radar · EISCAT VHF radar
A numerical model of the ionosphere, including the E-region above EISCAT  [cached]
P.-Y. Diloy,A. Robineau,J. Lilensten,P.-L. Blelly
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2003,
Abstract: It has been previously demonstrated that a two-ion (O+ and H+) 8-moment time-dependent fluid model was able to reproduce correctly the ionospheric structure in the altitude range probed by the EISCAT-VHF radar. In the present study, the model is extended down to the E-region where molecular ion chemistry (NO+ and O+2, essentially) prevails over transport; EISCAT-UHF observations confirmed previous theoretical predictions that during events of intense E×B induced convection drifts, molecular ions (mainly NO+) predominate over O+ ions up to altitudes of 300 km. In addition to this extension of the model down to the E-region, the ionization and heating resulting from both solar insolation and particle precipitation is now taken into account in a consistent manner through a complete kinetic transport code. The effects of E×B induced convection drifts on the E- and F-region are presented: the balance between O+ and NO+ ions is drastically affected; the electric field acts to deplete the O+ ion concentration. The [NO+]/[O+] transition altitude varies from 190 km to 320 km as the perpendicular electric field increases from 0 to 100 mV m-1. An interesting additional by-product of the model is that it also predicts the presence of a noticeable fraction of N+ ions in the topside ionosphere in good agreement with Retarding Ion Mass Spectrometer measurements onboard Dynamic Explorer.
Zonal asymmetry of daytime 150-km echoes observed by Equatorial Atmosphere Radar in Indonesia
T. Yokoyama, D. L. Hysell, A. K. Patra, Y. Otsuka,M. Yamamoto
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2009,
Abstract: Multi-beam observations of the daytime ionospheric E-region irregularities and the so-called 150-km echoes with the 47-MHz Equatorial Atmosphere Radar (EAR) in West Sumatra, Indonesia (0.20° S, 100.32° E, 10.36° S dip latitude) are presented. 150-km echoes have been frequently observed by the EAR, and their characteristics are basically the same as the equatorial ones, except for an intriguing zonal asymmetry; stronger echoes in lower altitudes in the east directions, and weaker echoes in higher altitudes in the west. The highest occurrence is seen at 5.7° east with respect to the magnetic meridian, and the altitude gradually increases as viewing from the east to west. Arc structures which return backscatter echoes are proposed to explain the asymmetry. While the strength of radar echoes below 105 km is uniform within the wide coverage of azimuthal directions, the upper E-region (105–120 km) echoes also show a different type of zonal asymmetry, which should be generated by an essentially different mechanism from the lower E-region and 150-km echoes.
The dynamical background of polar mesosphere winter echoes from simultaneous EISCAT and ESRAD observations
E. Belova, S. Kirkwood, J. Ekeberg, A. Osepian, I. H ggstr m, H. Nilsson,M. Rietveld
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2005,
Abstract: On 30 October 2004 during a strong solar proton event, layers of enhanced backscatter from altitudes between 55 and 75km have been observed by both ESRAD (52MHz) and the EISCAT VHF (224MHz) radars. These echoes have earlier been termed Polar Mesosphere Winter Echoes, PMWE. After considering the morphology of the layers and their relation to observed atmospheric waves, we conclude that the radars have likely seen the same phenomenon even though the radars' scattering volumes are located about 220km apart and that the most long-lasting layer is likely associated with wind-shear in an inertio-gravity wave. An ion-chemistry model is used to determine parameters necessary to relate wind-shear induced turbulent energy dissipation rates to radar backscatter. The model is verified by comparison with electron density profiles measured by the EISCAT VHF radar. Observed radar signal strengths are found to be 2-3 orders of magnitude stronger than the maximum which can be expected from neutral turbulence alone, assuming that previously published results relating radar signal scatter to turbulence parameters, and turbulence parameters to wind shear, are correct. The possibility remains that some additional or alternative mechanism may be involved in producing PMWE, such as layers of charged dust/smoke particles or large cluster ions.
On the characteristics of 150-km echoes observed in the Brazilian longitude sector by the 30 MHz S o Luís radar
F. S. Rodrigues, E. R. de Paula,J. L. Chau
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2011,
Abstract: We present long-overdue details about the intensity and spectral characteristics of 150-km echoes observed by the S o Luís radar in Brazil. The S o Luís observations show that the echoes usually come from multiple scattering layers that descend in altitude before local noon, and ascend during afternoon hours, similar to what has been found in observations made in other longitude sectors. The layers are usually 3–5 km thick and located, mostly, between 130 and 170 km altitude. The measurements also show variations in echo intensity that are similar to observations made at other equatorial and off-equatorial sites. Analysis of observations made during 2008 shows significant (>37%) monthly occurrence rates for every month. Reduced occurrence rates were observed around March Equinox. We associate this reduction in occurrence rate, however, to a non-geophysical factor. An increase in the daytime sky noise in the months around March Equinox causes a decrease in the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the echoes, which makes them less distinguishable in our analysis. A higher occurrence of weaker echoes around March Equinox was confirmed by an statistical analysis of the seasonal variation of echo intensities. Strong, long-lasting and, therefore, more noticeable echoing layers, however, were observed between June and early September compared to other months in 2008. Spectral analyses show that most of the echoes have negative mean Doppler shifts indicating upward velocities. The echoes also have narrow spectral widths of only a few m s 1. Finally, we also found that the mean Doppler shift of the observed echoes can vary noticeably with altitude at times. Using spaced antenna measurements we show that this is caused by the wide field-of-view of the radar and the spatial distribution of the scatterers within the radar beam.
Gadanki radar observations of daytime E region echoes and structures extending down to 87 km
A. K. Patra, S. Sripathi, P. B. Rao,R. K. Choudhary
Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO) , 2006,
Abstract: Observations of daytime E region echoes extending to altitudes as low as 87 km made using the Gadanki MST radar are presented. The echoing regions display descending layer resembling the characteristics of tidal winds and show structures with periods 2–4 min having both positive and negative slopes. At the center of the layer where strongest SNR is observed, the velocity is maximum and spectral width is minimum. At altitudes slightly above and below, where SNR is relatively low, velocity is low but spectral width is maximum. Daytime observations of echoes extending to such a low altitude and associated structures akin to nighttime quasi-periodic echoes throughout the observational period are the most significant results, not reported earlier from Gadanki and other locations. Other notable results are large SNR (as high as 15 dB) and spectral width (as high as 70 m/s) at the bottommost altitudes, where collisional damping of the plasma waves is significant
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