Radar measurements of the latitudinal variation of auroral ionization


  • Richard R. Vondrak,

  • Murray J. Baron


The Chatanika, Alaska, incoherent scatter radar has been used to measure the spatial variation of auroral ionization. A two-dimensional (altitude, latitude) cross-sectional map of electron densities in the ionosphere is produced by scanning in the geomagnetic meridian plane. The altitude variation of ionization is used to infer the differential energy distribution of the incident auroral electrons. The latitudinal variation of this energy distribution and the total energy input are obtained by use of the meridian-scanning technique. Examples are shown of observations made during an active aurora.