Simultaneous CW radio measurements of meteor and auroral drifts


  • P. Prikryl,

  • J. A. Koehler,

  • G. J. Sofko


A bistatic 50-MHz CW radar was used to simultaneously observe the horizontal components of E region auroral drift motions and the underlying D region meteor trail drift motions over northern Saskatchewan (L ∼ 6.5). About 1800 meteor trail echoes were analyzed over 5 separate days, 3 of which were geomagnetically quiet and 2 of which were disturbed. For the quiet days, the observed meteor trail drifts were consistent with the normal D region motions observed at these latitudes. For the disturbed days, however, the meteor trail drifts near local midnight were much larger than normal, were predominantly southward and were well correlated with the E region auroral drifts measured at some 10 km higher altitude. This suggests that meteor trail drift motions may not be representative of the neutral medium motions at auroral latitudes during periods of geomagnetic disturbance.