Coordinated Optical and Radar Measurements of Auroral Motions and Ionospheric Plasma Drift

  • Robert D. Sears
  • John E. Evans
Part of the Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 51)


Optical measurements of the motion of auroral emission features in the Oi, 5577 Å line were made with a three beam photometer in close coordination with incoherent scatter radar measurements at Chatanika, Alaska, during several periods in 1973. The motion of auroral emission irregularities is compared to the ionospheric plasma drift motion which is derived from the radar Doppler frequency data. We find that the chaotic auroral emission irregularities present during periods of high activity have velocities which often correspond to the radar-derived plasma drift velocities. We conclude that the magnetospheric E fields, which cause the plasma drift, also cause the motion of irregularities in the precipitating particle flux which produces the observed 5577 Å variations.


Radar Measurement Neutral Wind Electron Density Profile Dissociative Recombination Plasma Drift 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert D. Sears
    • 1
  • John E. Evans
    • 1
  1. 1.Lockheed Palo Alto Research LaboratoryPalo AltoUSA

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