|Mid-latitude Irregularities Observed by the Oblique Ionosonde Sounding Mode for the HamSCI Personal Space Weather Station
|Year of Conference
|Joshi, DRaj, Frissell, NA, Vierinen, J
|HamSCI Workshop 2022
The spread in the echoes of high-frequency (HF, 3-30 MHz) radio waves from the F-region of the ionosphere was one of the earliest indications of plasma density irregularities in the mid-latitude F region ionosphere. Although mid-latitude spread F has been widely studied, the plasma instability mechanisms that create these irregularities are still largely unknown. This phenomenon can cause radio wave scintillation effects that degrade the performance of human-made technologies such as satellite communications and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). Here, we present signatures of mid-latitude irregularities observed in oblique ionograms received near Scranton, PA transmitted by the Relocatable Over-the-Horizon Radar (ROTHR) in Chesapeake, Virginia. These observations are collected with the GNU Chirpsounder2 software, an open source software package capable of creating ionograms from frequency modulated (FM) chirp ionosondes. This ionospheric sounding mode will be implemented in the currently under-development Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) Personal Space Weather Station (PSWS), a ground-based multi-instrument system designed to remote-sense the ionosphere using signals of opportunity. Using the data from the oblique ionograms, we generate the Range Time Intensity (RTI) plots that show ionospheric dynamics through measured path length variations as a function of time. We also compare the RTI plots with Range-Time-Parameter (RTP) plots from the SuperDARN HF radar in Blackstone, Virginia which commonly observes direct backscatter from decameter-scale irregularities within the region of ionosphere traversed by the ROTHR signal. We also investigate the dependence of the occurrence of the mid-latitude irregularities on the level of the geomagnetic activity.