Power-Stepped HF Cross-Modulation Experiments: Simulations and Experimental Observations
Monday, 15 December 2014
High frequency (HF) cross modulation experiments are a well established means for probing the HF-modified characteristics of the D-region ionosphere. The interaction between the heating wave and the probing pulse depends on the ambient and modified conditions of the D-region ionosphere. Cross-modulation observations are employed as a measure of the HF-modified refractive index. We employ an optimized version of Fejer's method that we developed during previous experiments. Experiments were performed in March 2013 at the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) observatory in Gakona, Alaska. During these experiments, the power of the HF heating signal incrementally increased in order to determine the dependence of cross-modulation on HF power. We found that a simple power law relationship does not hold at high power levels, similar to previous ELF/VLF wave generation experiments. In this paper, we critically compare these experimental observations with the predictions of a numerical ionospheric HF heating model and demonstrate close agreement.