Ionospheric modification theory: Past, present, and future


  • G. Meltz,

  • F. W. Perkins


Ionospheric modification theory is reviewed and the principal phenomena are discussed in the context of present understanding. One fundamental advance has been the recognition that differential heating in collisional plasmas due to the beating of high frequency waves can generate low frequency density fluctuations more effectively than ponderomotive forces. This thermal coupling between the disturbing wave and density fluctuation plays a central role in producing field-aligned structure. Future applications of ionospheric modification in transequatorial scatter communications and D-, E-, and F-region aeronomy are also discussed.