Thursday, 8 December 2011

API

This week me and Antti Kero are up in Tromsø doing artificial periodic irregularity (API) experiments with the EISCAT heater, which has recently been upgraded to include a radar receiver.

The idea with the experiments is to first produce a standing wave in the ionosphere, which heats up the plasma, and creates small enhancements of electron density at lambda/2 intervals. These irregularities are then probed with short radar pulses, which are used to probe the decay time of the irregularities. From this, it is possible to determine several ionospheric parameters: ionospheric chemistry, electron density, winds, and neutral density.

5.423 MHz X-mode API echo. There is also a meteor head echo accompanied with a decaying trail echo in this measurement.
We managed to actually get an API echo on our first try! Here is a picture from our second day of measurements. This is an API echo with 5.423 MHz at X-mode heating and probing polarization. We were also lucky to observe a meteor head echo and associated trail echo.

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