Modified equipment can provide high-resolution ionospheric data

Researchers have modified the European Incoherent Scatter Svalbard radar to potentially provide detailed information of even a single event in the polar ionosphere. Oksavik et al. demonstrate a new observation mode for the EISCAT instrument with the potential for monitoring small-scale flow variations in the Earth-space boundary.

The authors used the technique to provide high-resolution data for the flow patterns surrounding a single poleward-moving auroral form (PMAF) event, a phenomenon associated with magnetic storms and substorms seen from the polar cap. PMAF events have been studied for more than 20 years as precursors to larger ionospheric disturbances.

The researchers suggest that a more specific understanding of a single ionospheric event can help them better understand the larger phenomena that disrupt the planetary magnetic field and affect Earth systems, including communication equipment to satellite transmissions.

Title: High-resolution observations of the small-scale flow pattern associated with a poleward moving auroral form in the cusp

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Kjellman Oksavik Geophysical Research Letters

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