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First observation of the anomalous electric field in the topside ionosphere by ionospheric modification over EISCAT

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>16/11/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Geophysical Research Letters
Issue number21
Volume41
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)7427-7435
Publication statusPublished
Early online date12/11/14
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We have developed an active ground-based technique to estimate the steady state field-aligned anomalous electric field (E*) in the topside ionosphere, up to ~600 km, using the European Incoherent Scatter (EISCAT) ionospheric modification facility and UHF incoherent scatter radar. When pumping the ionosphere with high-power high-frequency radio waves, the F region electron temperature is significantly raised, increasing the plasma pressure gradient in the topside ionosphere, resulting in ion upflow along the magnetic field line. We estimate E* using a modified ion momentum equation and the Mass Spectrometer Incoherent Scatter model. From an experiment on 23 October 2013, E* points downward with an average amplitude of ~1.6 μV/m, becoming weaker at higher altitudes. The mechanism for anomalous resistivity is thought to be low-frequency ion acoustic waves generated by the pump-induced flux of suprathermal electrons. These high-energy electrons are produced near the pump wave reflection altitude by plasma resonance and also result in observed artificially induced optical emissions.