A theoretical model for short-scale field-aligned plasma density striations


  • Francis W. Perkins


The short-scale (about 3 m), field-aligned plasma density striations found in ionospheric modification experiments are generated by the plasma turbulence resulting from ion acoustic-plasma wave parametric decay instabilities. The field-aligned geometry results from the fact that nonlinear wave coupling arises from thermal, ohmic heating terms rather than ponderomotive force (radiation pressure). The theory shows that field-aligned striations increase rapidly in intensity as the wavelength increases—in agreement with experiment.