Observations of 3-m auroral irregularities during the ERRRIS campaigns

School of Electrical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, U.S.A.
Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics 07/1992; 54(6):809-818. DOI: 10.1016/0021-9169(92)90117-4


In the late winter of 1988 and 1989, three NASA sounding rockets were flown through the auroral electrojet from ESRANGE (Sweden) as part of the E-region Rocket-Radar Instability Study (ERRIS). Many ground-based instruments supported these flights, including the EISCAT, STARE, and CUPRI radars, as well as all-sky cameras, riometers, and magnetometers. In this paper we summarize the observations of the Cornell University Portable Radar Interferometer (CUPRI), which detected coherent backscatter from 3-m irregularities in the auroral E-region. Twenty hours of power spectra and interferometry data are available, and, during the 1989 campaign, three weeks of nearly continuous Range-Time-Intensity (RTI) and first moment data were recorded.

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    ABSTRACT: The E-region Rocket/Radar Instability Study (Project ERRRIS) investigated in detail the plasma instabilities in the low altitude (E-region) auroral ionosphere and the sources of free energy that drive these waves. Three independent sets of experiments were launched on NASA sounding rockets from Esrange, Sweden, in 1988 and 1989, attaining apogees of 124, 129 and 176km. The lower apogee rockets were flown into the unstable auroral electrojet and encountered intense two-stream waves driven by d.c. electric fields that ranged from 35 to 115 mV/m. The higher apogee rocket returned fields and particle data from an active auroral arc, yet observed a remarkably quiescent electrojet region as the weak d.c. electric fields (~ 10–15 mV/m) there were below the threshold required to excite two-stream waves. The rocket instrumentation included electric field instruments (d.c. and wave), plasma density fluctuation (δn/n) receivers, d.c. fluxgate magnetometers, energetic particle detectors (ions and electrons), ion drift meters, and swept Langmuir probes to determine absolute plasma density and temperature. The wave experiments included spatially separated sensors to provide wave vector and phase velocity information. All three rockets were flown in conjunction with radar backscatter measurements taken by the 50MHz CUPRI system, which was the primary tool used to determine the launch conditions. Two of the rockets were flown in conjunction with plasma drift, density, and temperature measurements taken by the EISCAT incoherent scattar radar. The STARE radar also made measurements during this campaign. This paper describes the scientific objectives of these rocket/radar experiments, provides a summary of the geophysical conditions during each launch, and gives an overview of the principal rocket and radar observations.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 1992 · Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics
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    ABSTRACT: The Cornell University Portable Radar Inter- ferometer (CUPRI) provided nearly continuous monitor- ing of the mesosphere above Esrange, Sweden during the noctilucent cloud rocket and radar campaign of the sum- mer of 1991 (NLC-91). CUPRI probed the mesosphere above Esrange from 78 to 91 km altitude with 300-meter resolution and was sensitive to the enhanced Polar Meso- spheric Summer Echoes (PMSE) that occur in the same altitude range as NLC formations. Out of the total of 264 hours of CUP RI observation time, P MSE were present for 140 hours. Rocket Salvo A was flown on the night of August 9-10 into an NLC event that occurred simul- taneously with a thin and weakening PMSE layer. High- resolution Doppler spectrograms of this PMSE event re- vealed sawtooth-like discontinuities at ~ 83 km altitude, which we interpret to be a distorted partial reflection layer which was advected across the radar beam.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 1993 · Geophysical Research Letters
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    ABSTRACT: . The Farley-Buneman instability is a collisional two-stream instability observed in the E-region ionosphere at altitudes in the range of 95-110km. While linear theory predicts the dominant wavelengths, it cannot fully describe the behavior of this nonlinearly saturated instability as observed by radar and rocket measurements. We simulate the behavior of this instability in the plane perpendicular to the Earth's magnetic field using a 2D hybrid code which models electron dynamics as a fluid and ion dynamics with a particle-in-cell approach. The results show the growth, saturation and nonlinear behavior of the instability for a much longer period of time than was possible with the pure particle codes used in previous studies. This paper describes the spectra from these simulations and compares them to the observed spectra. Both the simulations and observations show that (1) type I spectra result from saturated two-stream waves for a broad range of zenith angles, (2) the pha...
    Full-text · Article · Jul 1996 · Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
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