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Propagation of Plasma Bubbles Observed in Brazil from GPS and Airglow Data

Haase, Jennifer and Dautermann, Thomas and Taylor, M. and Chapagain, N. and Calais, E. and Pautet, D. (2010) Propagation of Plasma Bubbles Observed in Brazil from GPS and Airglow Data. Advances in Space Research, 47 (11), pp. 1758-1776. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2010.09.025. ISSN 0273-1177.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asr.2010.09.025


Equatorial Spread-F is a common occurrence in the equatorial ionosphere that is associated with large variations in plasma density that often cause scintillation and interference in communication signals. These events are known to result from Rayleigh-Taylor instability, but the day-to-day variability of their occurrence is not well understood. The triggering mechanism of plasma depletions is still a matter of debate, but may be linked to gravity waves that under favorable conditions propagate to the middle atmosphere. Understanding the triggering of ESF was the focus of the SpreadFEX campaign near Brasilia, Brazil in 2005. The campaign provided co-located airglow and GPS observations to study the onset of plasma depletions and their evolution as they traversed the region. Comparisons between the 630.0 nm airglow data and GPS data demonstrate the ability of the compact dual frequency GPS array to detect the plasma bubbles and retrieve reliable propagation characteristics of the depletions. In this case study, a plasma depletion was detected and moved over the array at velocities of 85-110 m/s, slowing as it moved towards the east. Correlation of consecutive airglow images gives consistent estimates of the eastward drift over the same time period. Mapping the airglow data to the GPS line-of-sight geometry allows direct comparison and reveals a resolvable westward tilt of the plasma depletion that may be due to vertical shear. The uniqueness of this study is the ability to resolve locally the characteristics of the plasma depletion without relying on assumptions about the mapping of the depletion along magnetic field lines to large latitudinal distances. It presents new information for understanding ESF development and the development of depletions strong enough to produce scintillation.

Document Type:Article
Title:Propagation of Plasma Bubbles Observed in Brazil from GPS and Airglow Data
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Haase, JenniferPurdue University
Dautermann, ThomasDLR
Taylor, M.Utah State University
Chapagain, N.Utah State University
Calais, E.Purdue University
Pautet, D.Utah State University
Date:15 November 2010
Journal or Publication Title:Advances in Space Research
Refereed publication:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 1758-1776
Keywords:Plasma Bubbles, GPS, TEC, Ionosphere, Airglow
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums, W - no assignement
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums, W - no assignement
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Weltraumwetter (old), W -- no assignement (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Communication and Navigation
Institute of Communication and Navigation > Navigation
Deposited By: Dr. Thomas Dautermann
Deposited On:17 Dec 2009 12:02
Last Modified:12 Dec 2013 20:48

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