Geophysical Research Letters

First observations of large-scale wave structure and equatorial spread F using CERTO radio beacon on the C/NOFS satellite



[1] First observations of large-scale wave structure (LSWS) and the subsequent development of equatorial spread F (ESF), using total electron content (TEC) derived from the ground based reception of beacon signals from the CERTO (Coherent Electromagnetic Radio Tomography) radio beacon on board C/NOFS (Communications/Navigation Outage Forecasting System) satellite, are presented. Selected examples of TEC variations, using measurements made during January 2009 from Bac Lieu, Vietnam (9.2°N, 105.6°E geographic, 1.7°N magnetic dip latitude) are presented to illustrate two key findings: (1) LSWS appears to play a more important role in the development of ESF than the post-sunset rise (PSSR) of the F-layer, and (2) LSWS can appear well before E region sunset. Other findings, that LSWS does not have significant zonal drift in the initial stages of growth, and can have zonal wavelengths of several hundred kilometers, corroborate earlier reports.