Incoherent scatter radar observations of non-Maxwellian ion velocity distributions in the auroral F-region
Lockwood, M., Suvanto, K., Winser, K.J., Cowley, S.W.H. and Willis, D.M. (1989) Incoherent scatter radar observations of non-Maxwellian ion velocity distributions in the auroral F-region. Advances in Space Research, 9 (5). pp. 113-118. ISSN 02731177
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/0273-1177(89)90348-7
Observations by the EISCAT experiments “POLAR” and Common Programme CP-3 reveal non-Maxwellian ion velocity distributions in the auroral F-region ionosphere. Analysis of data from three periods is presented. During the first period, convection velocities are large (≈2 km s-1) and constant over part of a CP-3 latitude scan; the second period is one of POLAR data containing a short-lived (<1 min.) burst of rapid (>1.5 km s-1) flow. We concentrate on these two periods as they allow the study of a great many features of the ion-neutral interactions which drive the plasma non-thermal and provide the best available experimental test for models of the 3-dimensional ion velocity distribution function. The third period is included to illustrate the fact that non-thermal plasma frequently exists in the auroral ionosphere: the data, also from the POLAR experiment, cover a three-hour period of typical auroral zone flow and analysis reveals that the ion distribution varies from Maxwellian to the threshold of a toroidal form.