Initial Ionospheric Observations Made By the New Resolute Incoherent Scatter Radar and Comparison to Solar Wind IMF


Bahcivan, H., Tsunoda, R., Nicolls, M., & Heinselman, C. (2010). Initial ionospheric observations made by the new Resolute incoherent scatter radar and comparison to solar wind IMF. Geophysical Research Letters, 37(15).


The first Resolute incoherent scatter radar observations of the polar ionospheric F region show the fine control of the ionospheric plasma density and flow (electric field) by the solar wind interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). A summary of 8 days of observations is presented and 10 IMF Bz southward turning events during this period are analyzed in terms of the time delay of plasma density enhancements and ionospheric convection intensification with respect to the timing of Bz southward turning. We find that Ne enhancements are strongly tied to strong (≳5 nT) IMF Bz southward turnings; arrive 25–75 mins (depending on MLT) after the IMF pulse arrives at the bowshock nose; last as long as Bz stays southward; contain as small as ∼25 km horizontal substructures; are altitudinally smooth, a characteristic of a solar produced plasma. The most predictable response of ionospheric convection is anti-sunward flow intensification on average ∼25 mins after Bz southward change.

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