An HF phased-array radar for studying small-scale structure in the high-latitude ionosphere

Authors

  • R. A. Greenwald,

  • K. B. Baker,

  • R. A. Hutchins,

  • C. Hanuise


Abstract

Since October 1983, a new coherent backscatter radar has been in operation at Goose Bay, Labrador, for the purpose of studying small-scale electron density structure in the high-latitude ionosphere. This radar operates over a frequency band that extends from 8 to 20 MHz, and it uses an electronically phased array of 16 log-periodic antennas for both transmission and reception. The radar transmits a seven-pulse pattern that enables one to determine 17-lag complex autocorrelation functions of the backscattered signals as a function of range and azimuth. In this paper we present a complete description of the radar including explanations of the operation of the phasing matrix, the techniques of data acquisition and analysis as implemented in the radar microcomputer, and the possible on-line and automatic operating modes that may be instituted. We also present examples of some of the initial results that we have obtained with the radar during the afternoon and late evening hours. These examples include images of the two-dimensional distribution of small-scale structure and of their associated mean Doppler motion. We also present examples of F region Doppler spectra derived from the complex autocorrelation functions. These Doppler spectra show interesting differences from those of high-latitude E region irregularities.

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