DEMETER observations of the ionospheric trough over HAARP in relation to HF heating experiments

Abstract : Plasma density variations observed aboard the DEMETER satellite in the topside ionospheric F layer are analyzed in relation to high-frequency transmitter operations. The main interest is the high-latitude region. One hundred cases with operating and nonoperating High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program HF transmitter during day and night are examined. It is found that most large-scale variations can be attributed to the presence of the main ionospheric trough and that such natural variations complicate the detection of HF transmitter effects on a case-by-case basis. From statistics, no correlation between the HF transmissions and the presence of the irregularities has been established. A comparison of our observations with two recent works on electron density ducts created by HF transmitters and detected by DEMETER shows that in those works the main ionospheric trough is the major factor in density variations, and it is not clear how to distinguish density variations created by the HF heater from natural variations in such cases. Finally, possible experimental techniques for duct formation by HF heaters are discussed.
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D. Piddyachiy, T. F. Bell, Jean-Jacques Berthelier, U. S. Inan, Michel Parrot. DEMETER observations of the ionospheric trough over HAARP in relation to HF heating experiments. Journal of Geophysical Research Space Physics, American Geophysical Union/Wiley, 2011, 116, pp.A06304. ⟨10.1029/2010JA016128⟩. ⟨hal-00578970⟩

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