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Keywords:

  • ionospheric modifications;
  • thermal parametric instability

[1] Ionospheric modification experiments have been performed at the High frequency Active Auroral Research Program involving the creation and suppression of artificial field-aligned density irregularities (AFAIs) using O-mode and X-mode continuous wave emissions, respectively. The emission frequencies were offset so that the O-mode upper hybrid interaction height nearly matched the X-mode reflection height in the ionospheric E region. AFAIs created by O-mode heating were observed using a 30 MHz coherent scatter radar imager. Simultaneous X-mode heating was found to suppress the AFAI intensity and increase the threshold power for excitation by approximately a factor of 5 in our experiments. The effects are attributed in part to the broadening of the upper hybrid interaction region and in part to increased O-mode absorption, which reduces the amplitude of the standing wave pattern in that region. Preliminary estimates based on local calculations suggest that the electron temperature in the E region was increased by a factor of about 1.6 in these experiments.