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Excitation of Plasma Irregularities in the F Region of the Ionosphere by Powerful HF Radio Waves of X‐Polarization

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Published
Article numberJGRA54335
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>29/06/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Geophysical Research
Issue number6
Volume123
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)5246-5260
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date5/06/18
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

We discuss theoretically the excitation of artificial plasma irregularities in the auroral ionosphere by high-frequency X-mode radio wave. This is done via a two-step process. As a first step we
adopt the thermal self-focusing instability excited in the F region of the ionosphere under the action of a strong high-frequency (HF) radio wave. This instability causes the formation of perturbations of the electron temperature and plasma concentration across the magnetic field. In addition, the plasma becomes depleted in the regions of the electron temperature enhancements and vice versa, since the gradients of plasma concentration and the electron temperature have opposite signs. In such conditions the temperature gradient instability comes into play. As a second step we consider plasma and electron temperature inhomogeneities that appear due to this instability to be responsible for the generation of irregularities with transverse sizes smaller than the typical scales of the self-focusing instability. Alternative mechanisms such as excitation of the gradient-drift and the current-convective instabilities, which are often attributed to the generation of plasma irregularities in the F region and can contribute to the formation of artificial
irregularities in the case of X-mode heating, are also discussed.