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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 20, issue 2
Ann. Geophys., 20, 191-202, 2002
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-20-191-2002
© Author(s) 2002. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 20, 191-202, 2002
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-20-191-2002
© Author(s) 2002. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  28 Feb 2002

28 Feb 2002

An assessment of the "map-potential" and "beam-swinging" techniques for measuring the ionospheric convection pattern using data from the SuperDARN radars

G. Provan1, T. K. Yeoman1, S. E. Milan1, J. M. Ruohoniemi2, and R. Barnes2 G. Provan et al.
  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
  • 2Applied Physics Laboratory, John Hopkins University, Laurel, Maryland, USA
  • Correspondence to: G. Provan (gp3@ion.le.ac.uk)

Abstract. The SuperDARN HF coherent scatter radars (Greenwald et al., 1995) provide line-of-sight (l-o-s) velocity measurements of ionospheric convection flow over the polar regions of the northern and southern hemispheres. A number of techniques have been developed in order to obtain 2-D plasma flow vectors from these l-o-s observations. This study entails a comparison of the ionospheric flow vectors derived using the "map-potential", and "beam-swinging" techniques with the vectors derived using the "merging" technique. The merging technique is assumed to be the most accurate method of deriving local flow vectors from l-o-s velocities. We can conclude that the map-potential model is significantly more successful than the beam-swinging technique at estimating both the magnitude and the direction of the large-scale ionospheric convection flow vectors. The quality of the fit is dependent on time of day, with vectors observed at low latitudes in the dawn sector agreeing most closely with the merged vector flow pattern.

Key words. Ionosphere (plasma convection; instruments and techniques) – Radio science (instruments and techniques)

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