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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 36, issue 3 | Copyright
Ann. Geophys., 36, 855-866, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Regular paper 13 Jun 2018

Regular paper | 13 Jun 2018

Numerical simulation of oblique ionospheric heating by powerful radio waves

Moran Liu, Chen Zhou, Xiang Wang, Bin Bin Ni, and Zhengyu Zhao Moran Liu et al.
  • Department of Space Physics, School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China

Abstract. In this paper, we investigate the ionospheric heating by oblique incidence of powerful high-frequency (HF) radio waves using three-dimensional numerical simulations. The ionospheric electron density and temperature perturbations are examined by incorporating the ionospheric electron transport equations and ray-tracing algorithm. The energy distribution of oblique incidence heating waves in the ionosphere is calculated by the three-dimensional ray-tracing algorithm. The calculation takes into consideration the electric field of heating waves in the caustic region by the plane wave spectral integral method. The simulation results show that the ionospheric electron density and temperature can be disturbed by oblique incidence of powerful radio waves, especially in the caustic region of heating waves. The oblique ionospheric heating with wave incidence parallel and perpendicular to the geomagnetic field in the mid-latitude ionosphere is explored by simulations, results of which indicate that the ionospheric modulation is more effective when the heating wave propagates along the magnetic field line. Ionospheric density and temperature striations in the caustic region due to thermal self-focusing instability are demonstrated, as well as the time evolution of the corresponding fluctuation spectra.

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