Model predictions of the occurrence of non-Maxwellian plasmas, and analysis of their effects on EISCAT data
Farmer, A.D., Lockwood, M., Fuller-Rowell, T.J., Suvanto, K. and Løvhaug, U.P. (1988) Model predictions of the occurrence of non-Maxwellian plasmas, and analysis of their effects on EISCAT data. Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics, 50 (4-5). pp. 487-499. ISSN 00219169
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/0021-9169(88)90030-X
The recent identification of non-thermal plasmas using EISCAT data has been made possible by their occurrence during large, short-lived flow bursts. For steady, yet rapid, ion convection the only available signature is the shape of the spectrum, which is unreliable because it is open to distortion by noise and sampling uncertainty and can be mimicked by other phenomena. Nevertheless, spectral shape does give an indication of the presence of non-thermal plasma, and the characteristic shape has been observed for long periods (of the order of an hour or more) in some experiments. To evaluate this type of event properly one needs to compare it to what would be expected theoretically. Predictions have been made using the coupled thermosphere-ionosphere model developed at University College London and the University of Sheffield to show where and when non-Maxwellian plasmas would be expected in the auroral zone. Geometrical and other factors then govern whether these are detectable by radar. The results are applicable to any incoherent scatter radar in this area, but the work presented here concentrates on predictions with regard to experiments on the EISCAT facility.