Energy Input to the Auroral Ionosphere.
Final rept. 1 Sep 77-31 Aug 78,
UTAH STATE UNIV LOGAN CENTER FOR ATMOSPHERIC AND SPACE SCIENCES
Pagination or Media Count:
This effort was to aid studies of the high latitude ionosphere particularly with regard to Joule heating processes. For energy input to the atmosphere by Joule heating the dominant physical factor has been found to be the strength of the electric field - the motions of the ionospheric plasma through the nearly stationary neutral gas. Both the conductivity and electric field change by large factors but the dependence of the Joule heating rate on the square of the electric field strength makes the electric field the most critical factor. In the design of the experiments with a steerable dish antenna the conductivities are obtained from electron densities in the E region of the ionosphere while the electric fields are obtained from the F region. In this work, to cover a wide range of latitudes with acceptable time resolution, the E region measurements were curtailed. A suggestion from model studies is that the offset of the geomagnetic pole from the geographic pole and a further offset of the center of the oval to be several degrees antisunward of the geomagnetic pole introduces a strong longitudinal variation in the magnetic latitude of the oval. So, some longitude sectors, such as Chatanika, penetrate more deeply into the oval than other locations with the same magnetic latitude.
- Atmospheric Physics