Geophysical Research Letters

First observations of coherent scatter from the mid-latitude F-region in the Caribbean



The Cornell University Portable Radar Interferometer (CUPRI) started a new series of measurements of the mid-latitude ionosphere from Puerto Rico in July 1997. On the first day of operation, coherent echoes were obtained from the F region. This was the first detection of such echoes in this longitude sector. This is surprising since the MU radar has seen similar eches over Japan and the presence of related phenomena in the Caribbean suggested they should have been seen in other VHF studies. A number of F-region events were subsequently observed. Some echoes were characterized with very narrow spectra and small mean Doppler shifts. Two events had echoes whose range changed rapidly with time, but only one of these had comparable Doppler velocities. Such differences suggest that we caught the events in different stages of development. In addition to presenting samples of the data, we outline the reasons why these structures were anticipated.