Radio Science

Passive coherent scatter radar interferometer implementation, observations, and analysis



[1] We have recently extended the passive radar technique to permit interferometric observation of ionospheric irregularities. We discuss the implementation of a passive radar interferometer at VHF frequencies and show observations of field-aligned irregularities in the high-latitude E region ionosphere. The interferometer achieves very fine azimuthal resolution (as fine as 0.1°, or 2 km at a range of 1000 km); thus we can form two-dimensional spatial images of the target volume. Many E region scatterers are compact, with transverse extent no greater than 10 km; this is significantly smaller than the beam width of most coherent radars. By tracking interferometric position, we can estimate the transverse drift of the scattering region. By coupling this information with the line of sight Doppler shift and using the dispersion relation for meter scale irregularities, we estimate electric fields and velocity shears within the scattering volume.