Analysis of incoherent scatter radar data from non-thermal F-region plasma
Suvanto, K., Lockwood, M., Winser, K.J., Farmer, A.D. and Bromage, B.J.I. (1989) Analysis of incoherent scatter radar data from non-thermal F-region plasma. Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics, 51 (6). pp. 483-495. ISSN 00219169
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/0021-9169(89)90088-3
A procedure is presented for fitting incoherent scatter radar data from non-thermal F-region ionospheric plasma, using theoretical spectra previously predicted. It is found that values of the shape distortion factor D∗, associated with deviations of the ion velocity distribution from a Maxwellian distribution, and ion temperatures can be deduced (the results being independent of the path of iteration) if the angle between the line-of-sight and the geomagnetic field is larger than about 15–20°. The procedure can be used with one or both of two sets of assumptions. These concern the validity of the adopted model for the line-of-sight ion velocity distribution in the one case or for the full three-dimensional ion velocity distribution function in the other. The distribution function employed was developed to describe the line-of-sight velocity distribution for large aspect angles, but both experimental data and Monte Carlo simulations indicate that the form of the field-perpendicular distribution can also describe the distribution at more general aspect angles. The assumption of this form for the line-of-sight velocity distribution at a general aspect angle enables rigorous derivation of values of the one-dimensional, line-of-sight ion temperature. With some additional assumptions (principally that the field-parallel distribution is always Maxwellian and there is a simple relationship between the ion temperature anisotropy and the distortion of the field-perpendicular distribution from a Maxwellian), fits to data for large aspect angles enable determination of line-of-sight temperatures at all aspect angles and hence, of the average ion temperature and the ion temperature anisotropy. For small aspect angles, the analysis is restricted to the determination of the line-of-sight ion temperature because the theoretical spectrum is insensitive to non-thermal effects when the plasma is viewed along directions almost parallel to the magnetic field. This limitation is expected to apply to any realistic model of the ion velocity distribution function and its consequences are discussed. Fit strategies which allow for mixed ion composition are also considered. Examples of fits to data from various EISCAT observing programmes are presented.