Incoherent Scatter Radar Results

  • M. Petit
Conference paper
Part of the Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 51)


Incoherent scattering is the Thomson scattering of electromagnetic waves of very high frequency (e.g., several hundred MHz) by the free electrons in the ionosphere. In any scattering experiment, the received signal is proportional to a spatial Fourier component of the scatterers density (here the electron density); the relevant wave vector k is mainly determined by the frequency and, through a trigonometric factor, by the geometry of the experiment. Incoherent scattering occurs even when the medium is macro-scopically homogeneous; this phenomenon is due to the randomness of the position of each electron, which results from the thermal motion. In the absence of Coulomb interactions, between electrons, each particle would be independent from the others and the total received power would be the sum of the power scattered by each particle and the power spectrum would be Gaussian in shape, reflecting the electron velocity distribution. This truly incoherent scattering actually occurs when the wave used has a wavelength λ much smaller than the Debye length λD of the plasma. This condition does not apply to the present experiments and one should speak rather of quasi-incoherent scattering.


Neutral Particle Solar Flux Neutral Atmosphere Incoherent Scattering Diffusive Equilibrium 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Petit
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre National d’Études des Télécommunications Département RSRIssy-les-MoulineauxFrance

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