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Title: Nonlinear plasma experiments in geospace with gigawatts of RF power at HAARP

The ionosphere is the ionized uppermost layer of our atmosphere (from 70 – 500 km altitude) where free electron densities yield peak critical frequencies in the HF (3 – 30 MHz) range. The ionosphere thus provides a quiescent plasma target, stable on timescales of minutes, for a whole host of active plasma experiments. High power RF experiments on ionospheric plasma conducted in the U.S. have been reported since 1970. The largest HF transmitter built to date is the HAARP phased-array HF transmitter near Gakona, Alaska which can deliver up to 3.6 Gigawatts (ERP) of CW RF power in the range of 2.8 – 10 MHz to the ionosphere with microsecond pointing, power modulation, and frequency agility. With an ionospheric background thermal energy in the range of only 0.1 eV, this amount of power gives access to the highest regimes of the nonlinearity (RF intensity to thermal pressure) ratio. HAARP’s unique features have enabled the conduct of a number of unique nonlinear plasma experiments in the interaction region of overdense ionospheric plasma including generation of artificial aurorae, artificial ionization layers, VLF wave-particle interactions in the magnetosphere, parametric instabilities, stimulated electromagnetic emissions (SEE), strong Langmuir turbulence (SLT) and suprathermal electron acceleration. Diagnostics include the Modularmore » UHF Ionospheric Radar (MUIR) sited at HAARP, the SuperDARN-Kodiak HF radar, spacecraft radio beacons, HF receivers to record stimulated electromagnetic emissions (SEE) and telescopes and cameras for optical emissions. We report on short timescale ponderomotive overshoot effects, artificial field-aligned irregularities (AFAI), the aspect angle dependence of the intensity of the HF-enhanced plasma line, and production of suprathermal electrons. One of the primary missions of HAARP, has been the generation of ELF (300 – 3000 Hz) and VLF (3 – 30 kHz) radio waves which are guided to global distances in the Earth-ionosphere waveguide. We review recent efforts to improve the efficiency of the generation ELF/VLF and develop alternative mechanisms that do not require a natural ionospheric current. Applications include the controlled study of ionospheric irregularities affecting spacecraft communication and navigation systems.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Physics and Astronomy, Eastern Michigan Univ., Ypsilanti, MI 48197 (United States)
  2. Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA 30332-0250 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22496179
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 1689; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: 21. topical conference on radio frequency power in plasmas, Lake Arrowhead, CA (United States), 27-29 Apr 2015; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; CRITICAL FREQUENCY; ELECTRON DENSITY; ELECTRONS; EV RANGE 01-10; LANGMUIR FREQUENCY; MHZ RANGE 01-100; NONLINEAR PROBLEMS; PARAMETRIC INSTABILITIES; PARTICLE INTERACTIONS; PONDEROMOTIVE FORCE; QUIESCENT PLASMA; RADAR; RADIOWAVE RADIATION; TURBULENCE; WAVEGUIDES