Study of Large-Scale Wave Structure and Development of Equatorial Plasma Bubbles Using the C/NOFS Satellite
Final rept. 1 Nov 2009-31 Oct 2012
SRI INTERNATIONAL MENLO PARK CA
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The development of plasma structure in the nighttime equatorial F layer, referred to as equatorial spread F, is of strategic importance to the Air Force. These irregularities are responsible for intense scintillations, which can disrupt both communications and navigation. If we hope to achieve short-term forecasting, even on a day-to-day basis, we must understand how the scintillation-producing plasma irregularities, called equatorial plasma bubbles EPBs, develop. To understand EPB generation and distribution, mounting evidence necessitates knowledge about large-scale wave structure LSWS, which develops in the bottomside of the F layer. A primary obstacle to understanding LSWS has been the paucity of available measurements that can be used to characterize LSWS. With the launch of the CommunicationNavigation Outage Forecasting System CNOFS satellite, it became possible, for the first time, to determine LSWS characteristics on a routine basis. The objectives of this project were to collect data that describe LSWS, and to analyze those data together with other supporting data to expand our understanding of the underlying physical processes that control development of EPBs. This final report presents the highlights of the results from this study and includes a new, working hypothesis for LSWS and EPB development.
- Atmospheric Physics