Magnetic aspect angle dependence of spectra from coherent radio aurora backscatter


  • J. Watermann,

  • D. R. McDiarmid,

  • J. A. Koehler,

  • G. J. Sofko,

  • A. G. McNamara


In 1981, a multiple path radar system was operated on the Canadian prairies with three 50-MHz transmitters and two receivers all separately located such as to establish six backscatter links. The radar beams illuminated the same scatter volume in the ionospheric E layer. Four of these links produced coherent backscatter signals from 3-m wavelength irregularities under different magnetic aspect angles ranging from 1.5° to 5.9° (reference height 110 km), but under almost identical drift flow angles. The radars were operated in the CW mode which yielded high time and spectral resolution but only moderate spatial resolution. In order to avoid confusion between spectral peaks from different locations within the backscatter volume, only single peaked spectra have been analyzed and compared. The Doppler shifts of both type I and type II spectra exhibit an aspect angle dependence which is much weaker than that predicted by existing linear and nonlinear theories.