Simultaneous multi-angle observations of strong Langmuir turbulence at HAARP

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Physics and Astronomy


We report results from a recent series of experiments employing the HF transmitter of the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) to generate and study strong Langmuir turbulence (SLT) in the interaction region of overdense ionospheric plasma. The Modular UHF Ionospheric Radar (MUIR) located at the HAARP facility is used as the primary diagnostic. Short pulse, low duty cycle experiments are used to avoid generation of artificial field-aligned irregularities and isolate ponderomotive plasma turbulence effects. The HF pump frequency is close to the 3rd gyro-harmonic frequency and the HF pointing angle and MUIR look angle are between the HF Spitze angle and Magnetic Zenith angle. Plasma line spectra measured simultaneously in different spots of the interaction region display differences dependent on the aspect angle of the HF pump beam in the boresight direction and the pointing angle of the MUIR diagnostic radar. Outshifted Plasma Lines, cascade, collapse, coexistence, spectra are observed in agreement with existing theory and simulation results of Strong Langmuir Turbulence in ionospheric interaction experiments. It is found that SLT at HAARP is most readily observed at a HF pointing angle of 11A degrees and UHF observation angle of 15A degrees, which is consistent with the magnetic zenith effect as documented in previous works and optimal orientation of the refracted HF electric field vector.

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