Novel Stimulated Electromagnetic Emission Observations with Artificial Airglow Using RF Excitation with HAARP

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 11:05 AM
Stanley J Briczinski Jr1, Paul A Bernhardt1, Carl L Siefring1, Robert Michell2, Donald L Hampton3, Brenton J Watkins3 and William A Bristow4, (1)Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC, United States, (2)Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX, United States, (3)University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, United States, (4)University of Alaska Fairbanks, Geophysical Institute, Fairbanks, AK, United States
High power HF radio waves interacting with the ionosphere provide aeronomers with a unique space-based laboratory capability. The High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Gakona, Alaksa is the world’s largest heating facility, producing effective radiated powers in the gigawatt range. Experiments performed at HAARP have allowed researchers to study many non-linear effects of wave-plasma interactions. Stimulated Electromagnetic Emissions (SEE) are of interest to the ionospheric community for its diagnostic purposes. Typical SEE experiments at HAARP have focused on characterizing the parametric decay of the electromagnetic pump wave into several different wave modes such as upper and lower hybrid, ion acoustic, ion-Bernstein and electron-Bernstein.

Recent HAARP experiments have used both conventional and novel techniques to excite ionospheric disturbances at gyroharmonic frequencies. Stable layers of artificial ionization have been generated using a “twisted beam” pattern with the heating array. Compared to pencil beam techniques, these layers are long-lived and produce their own unique SEE patterns. The “downshifted mass” or DSM has shown to be a strong indicator of artificial ionization generation. Additionally, several other previously uncharacterized SEE features have been observed. These emissions are under study to be linked with other heating phenomena such as enhanced optical emissions, ion and plasma line generation, HF radar backscatter and enhanced electron acceleration.