Abstract: Ion heating by friction with neutral particles is known to have a significant impact on the F-region ion temperature in the presence of large electric fields, particularly when the ions become supersonic relative to the neutral background population with which they collide. However, what has not been fully characterized is the impact this heating has on ion temperature anisotropy, as well as the influence of these non-Maxwellian velocity distributions on the shape and interpretation of incoherent radar spectra. To study this, reconstructions of incoherent radar spectra made from Monte-Carlo simulations of velocity distributions are being analyzed along-side radar campaigns capable of giving insight into such things as the collision cross-section of different collisions (such as the resonant charge exchange of O+ ions with O). For this research, an experiment was devised to scrutinize the plasma along the magnetic meridian so as to extract electric field and ion temperature information at altitudes where frictional heating plays an important role. The results of this work indicate that, as expected, the line-of-sight component of the plasma drift extracted from different altitudes is consistent throughout the ionosphere above 150 km. However, owing to competition with processes such as heat exchange with electrons, neutral atmospheric uncertainties, and heat conduction from above, extracting information about the effect of frictional heating is difficult unless the electric field is very strong. Here, the first electric field and ion temperature results from these special magnetic meridian scanning modes will be shown.
Please join us this coming Tuesday for our next presentation in our PEGASUS Summer Seminar Series.
Our next speaker is Lindsay Goodwin, who investigates ion thermodynamics in the ionosphere.
Please join us this Tuesday at 3:00 pm in the lounge for cookies and refreshments beforehand.
As well, please join us after the seminar for pizza and refreshments and take part in our Annual General Meeting.
Title: Investigating the Ion thermodynamics of the F region ionosphere.