Ionospheric Plasma Disturbances and Effects on Radio Waves
Final rept. 1 Feb 95-31 Jan 98
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE PLASMA FUSION CENTER
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Ionospheric plasma heating experiments were conducted at Arecibo to investigate generation of ionospheric plasma bubbles, sheet-like ionospheric irregularities, Langmuir waves, upper hybrid waves, and ion Bernstein waves. This research has shed light on physics and effects of HF waves on naturally occurring ionospheric plasma turbulence. Laboratory experiments at MITs Plasma Science and Fusion Center were carried out, using a student-built large plasma machine, the Versatile Toroidal Facility VTF to cross-check the Arecibo results and to simulate ionospheric effect caused by lightning-induced whistler waves. Recent VTF experiments have successfully reproduced the intriguing spectra of HF radio wave-enhanced Langmuir waves observed at Arecibo. Laboratory experiments were also performed to study the combined effect of gravity and magnetic field on the formation of aqueous crystals. This work leads to develop a practical technique for controlled growth of aqueous crystals. A comparison between TOPEX satellite vertical TEC measurements and GPS slant measurements shows that the ionospheric shell model with constant shell height and the assumption of horizontal homogeneity are not accurate for the low-latitude ionosphere.
- Atmospheric Physics
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics