Observations and effects of artificial density layers on oblique high-frequency backscatter

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Abstract

[1] An improved method of estimating ground-scattered power using high-frequency (HF) ray tracing techniques that overcomes the limitations of the derivation presented by Bristow and Greenwald (1995) is presented. The improved method is applied toward identifying the effects of an artificial ionospheric density layer on measured ground scatter power. The presence of artificial density layers induced at the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) station in Gakona, Alaska, are observed through the ground-scattered power received by the Kodiak Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) HF radar. The location and physical dimensions of the artificial layers are estimated by simulating radar returns using HF ray tracing through a model ionosphere that includes a model artificial density layer. Simulation results of ground-scattered power as a function of range are compared to the measured ground-scattered power as a function of range during a time period when artificial layers were evident in ionogram data. It is shown that a model artificial density layer based on research by Pedersen et al. (2009) produces simulation results that approximate the mean of the measured results.

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