Kinetics of density striations excited by powerful electromagnetic waves in the ionosphere

Istomin, Ya. N.; Leyser, T. B.
March 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Mar2010, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p032903
Academic Journal
One of the most important effects observed when pumping ionospheric plasma by powerful radio waves from the ground is the excitation of filamentary density striations that are stretched along the ambient geomagnetic field. The kinetics of the striations present in the pump electromagnetic field is studied theoretically. The density irregularities cause inhomogeneities in the pump field, which result in a ponderomotive force acting on the striations that makes the density depressions move perpendicular to the geomagnetic field. Striations moving with different velocities can collide, thereby merging to produce larger scale striations. The merging of striations constitutes a cascade process that distributes the energy over the spatial spectrum of the striations. The resulting inhomogeneity spectrum as well as the obtained outward radial drift of a few meters per second is consistent with experimental results.


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