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Mesoscale observations of Joule heating near an auroral arc and ion-neutral collision frequency in the polar cap E region

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

  • M.J. Kosch
  • I. Yiu
  • C. Anderson
  • T. Tsuda
  • Y. Ogawa
  • S. Nozawa
  • A. Aruliah
  • V. Howells
  • L.J. Baddeley
  • I.W. McCrea
  • J.A. Wild
Journal publication date21/05/2011
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Journal numberA05321
Volume116
Number of pages16
Pages1-16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We report on the first mesoscale combined ionospheric and thermospheric observations, partly in the vicinity of an auroral arc, from Svalbard in the polar cap on 2 February 2010. The EISCAT Svalbard radar employed a novel scanning mode in order to obtain F and E region ion flows over an annular region centered on the radar. Simultaneously, a colocated Scanning Doppler Imager observed the E region neutral winds and temperatures around 110 km altitude using the 557.7 nm auroral optical emission. Combining the ion and neutral data permits the E region Joule heating to be estimated with an azimuthal spatial resolution of ∼64 km at a radius of ∼163 km from the radar. The spatial distribution of Joule heating shows significant mesoscale variation. The ion-neutral collision frequency is measured in the E region by combining all the data over the entire field of view with only weak aurora present. The estimated ion-neutral collision frequency at ∼113 km altitude is in good agreement with the MSIS atmospheric model.

Bibliographic note

Copyright (2011) American Geophysical Union. Further reproduction or electronic distribution is not permitted.