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Keywords:

  • medium-scale traveling ionospheric disturbance;
  • airglow imaging;
  • polarization electric field;
  • MSTID;
  • ion drift;
  • 630.0 nm

[1] We have investigated a nighttime medium-scale traveling ionospheric disturbance (MSTID) observed by an airglow imager at Shigaraki (34.9°N, 25.4°MLAT), Japan, on 17 May 2001. The structure was identified in the airglow images of OI (630.0 nm and 777.4 nm) as NW-SE band structures (horizontal wavelength: 230 km) moving southwestward with a velocity of 50 m/s. Neutral wind velocity was measured simultaneously from the Doppler shift of the 630.0-nm emission by a Fabry-Perot interferometer at Shigaraki. From these parameters, we performed model calculations of MSTIDs generated by gravity waves and by an oscillating electric field. We found that for the case of gravity waves, the estimated vertical wavelength was too small to explain the observed amplitudes of airglow intensity. For the case of the electric field, we found that an electric field oscillation of ∼1.2 mV/m was sufficient to reproduce the observed airglow amplitudes. This modeled electric field was comparable to that observed by the DMSP F15 satellite as it passed over Shigaraki during our observing period on 17 May 2001. The DMSP ion drift data show that the oscillation of the polarization electric field correlated with the MSTID structure in the airglow image, suggesting that the polarization electric field plays an important role in the generation of MSTIDs.