Mapping plasma structures in the high-latitude ionosphere using beacon satellite, incoherent scatter radar and ground-based magnetometer observations

J. Watermann, G.S. Bust, J.P. Thayer, Torsten Neubert, C. Coker

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In the autumn of the year 2000, four radio receivers capable of tracking various beacon satellites were set up along the southwestern coast of Greenland. They are used to reconstruct images of the ionospheric plasma density distribution via the tomographic method. In order to test and validate tomographic imaging under the highly variable conditions often prevailing in the high-latitude ionosphere, a time interval was selected when the Sondrestrom incoherent scatter radar conducted measurements of the ionospheric plasma density while the radio receivers tracked a number of beacon satellites. A comparison between two-dimensional images of the plasma density distribution obtained from the radar and the satellite receivers revealed generally good agreement between radar measurements and tomographic images. Observed discrepancies can be attributed to F region plasma patches moving through the field of view with a speed of several hundred meters per second, thereby smearing out the tomographic image. A notable mismatch occurred around local magnetic midnight when a magnetospheric substorm breakup occurred in the vicinity of southwest Greenland (identified from ground-based magnetometer observations). The breakup was associated with a sudden intensification of the westward auroral electrojet which was centered at about 69degrees and extended up to some 73degrees corrected geomagnetic latitude. Ground-based magnetometer data may thus have the potential of indicating when the tomographic method is at risk and may fail. We finally outline the application of tomographic imaging, when combined with magnetic field data, to estimate ionospheric Joule heating rates.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Geophysics
Volume45
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)177-189
ISSN1593-5213
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventEGC 26th General Meeting - Nice, France
Duration: 1 Mar 20011 Mar 2001
Conference number: 26

Conference

ConferenceEGC 26th General Meeting
Number26
Country/TerritoryFrance
CityNice
Period01/03/200101/03/2001

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Mapping plasma structures in the high-latitude ionosphere using beacon satellite, incoherent scatter radar and ground-based magnetometer observations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this