Geophysical Research Letters

First artificially induced modulation of PMSE using the EISCAT Heating Facility



A coordinated experiment involving ionospheric heating and VHF observations of polar mesosphere summer echoes (PMSE) has recently been conducted at the EISCAT facility near Tromsø, Norway. We have demonstrated for the first time that ionospheric heating can influence VHF radar returns associated with PMSE. Artificially elevating the electron temperatures within the PMSE layer has been shown to reduce the echo power. Based on this and other results from the experiment, it is suggested that the observed reduction in PMSE power is related to an enhancement of the electron diffusivity through the heating.