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Ionospheric electron number densities from CUTLASS dual-frequency velocity measurements using artificial backscatter over EISCAT

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>08/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number8
Volume121
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)8066-8076
<mark>State</mark>Published
Early online date27/08/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Using quasi-simultaneous line-of-sight velocity measurements at multiple frequencies from the Hankasalmi Cooperative UK Twin Auroral Sounding System (CUTLASS) on the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN), we calculate electron number densities using a derivation outlined in Gillies et al. (2010, 2012). Backscatter targets were generated using the European Incoherent Scatter (EISCAT) ionospheric modification facility at Tromsø, Norway. We use two methods on two case studies. The first approach is to use the dual-frequency capability on CUTLASS and compare line-of-sight velocities between frequencies with a MHz or greater difference. The other method used the kHz frequency shifts automatically made by the SuperDARN radar during routine operations. Using ray tracing to obtain the approximate altitude of the backscatter, we demonstrate that for both methods, SuperDARN significantly overestimates Ne compared to those obtained from the EISCAT incoherent scatter radar over the same time period. The discrepancy between the Ne measurements of both radars may be largely due to SuperDARN sensitivity to backscatter produced by localized density irregularities which obscure the background levels.

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