Large-Scale Ionospheric Effects Related to Electron-Gyro Harmonics: What We Have Learned from HAARP.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 10:50 AM
Brenton J Watkins1, Christopher T Fallen1 and James A Secan2, (1)University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, United States, (2)NorthWest Research Associates Redmond, Redmond, WA, United States
The HAARP ionospheric modification facility has unique capabilities that enable a wide range of HF frequencies with transmit powers ranging from very low to very high values. We will review a range of experiment results that illustrate large-scale ionospheric effects when the HF frequencies used are close to electron gyro-harmoncs and we focus mainly on the 3rd and 4th harmonics. The data are primarily from the UHF diagnosticc radar and total electron content (TEC) observations through the heated topside ionosphere. Radar data for HF frequencies just above and just below gyro harmoncs show significant differences in radar scatter cross-section that suggest differing plasma processes, and this effect is HF power dependent with some effects only observable with full HF power. For the production of artificial ionization in the E-region when the HF frequency is near gyro-harmoncs the results differ significantly for relatively small (50 kHz) variations in the HF frequency. We show how slow FM scans in conjunction with gyro-harmonic effects are effective in producing artificial ionization in the lower ionosphere.
In the topside ionosphere enhanced density and upward fluxes have been observed and these may act as effective ducts for the propagation of VLF waves upward into the magneosphere. Experimental techniques have been developed that may be used to continuously maintain these effects in the topside ionossphere.