Telescopic Imaging of Heater-Induced Airglow at HAARP
Final rept., 10 Sep 2003-10 Sep 2006
CORNELL UNIV ITHACA NY OFFICE OF SPONSORED PROGRAMS
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HF-induced fine-scale electron density variations andor enhanced airglow in the ionosphere were investigated. These irregularities appear to trap waves and cause them to self-focus. Knowing what irregularities exist is important for improving communications and for pure discovery research on wave-particle interactions in the lower ionosphere at high latitudes. To develop accurate models of its behavior, lower ionospheric structure must be known. Under this grant, we conducted telescopic imaging of heater-induced airglow at HAARP to optically measure fine structure in the ionosphere and to study airglow sources. In the presence of aurora and a strong blanketing E layer, HAARP was modulated at intervals of several seconds. For several cycles, small bright airglow spots were observed whenever HAARP was on. These spots are elongated horizontally, indicating drift motion, and are the same order of brightness as the aurora. Such bright artificial airglow was never recorded previously. These results were published in the journal Nature.