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Plasma Sci. Technol. ›› 2018, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (12): 125001.doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aadd45

• Basic Plasma Phenomena • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Density disturbance of small-scale field- aligned irregularities in the ionosphere heating experiments

Xiang WANG (王翔), Chen ZHOU (周晨), Moran LIU (刘默然), Binbin NI (倪彬彬) and Zhengyu ZHAO (赵正予)   


  1. Department of Space Physics, School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, People’s Republic of China
  • Received:2018-06-07 Published:2018-08-28
  • Supported by:

    This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC grants 41204111, 41574146, 41774162 and 41704155) and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2017M622504).


A theoretical model which describes the small-scale irregularities excited by powerful high frequency (3–30 MHz) electromagnetic wave in ionosphere heating is investigated quantitatively in this paper. The model is based on the transport equation in magnetic plasma and mode conversion from electromagnetic wave to electrostatic wave in ionospheric modification. Threshold electric field for exciting small-scale (meter scale) irregularities and spatial spectra of irregularities are analytically calculated by this model. The results indicate that background electron density and geomagnetic field play an important role for the threshold electric field and the spatial scale of the electron density irregularities. The results demonstrate that the electric field threshold increases with the decrease of the spatial scale of the irregularities. For exciting meter scale irregularities, the threshold electric field is about tens of mV m-1 . The theoretical results are consistent with those of the experiments.

Key words: small-scale irregularities, ionosphere heating experiment, thermal parametric instability, resonant instability