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Es structure using an HF radar


  • W. R. From,

  • J. D. Whitehead


By using an HF radar which produces a steerable beam about 4° wide and measures angle of arrival and Doppler shift of radio echoes, the structure of various types of mid-latitude sporadic E (Es) has been determined. Totally reflecting Es is a very smooth layer, tilted less than 1° from the horizontal. Partially reflecting Es consists of clouds of ionization. These clouds vary in size from a few kilometers to 25 km in the direction of movement and larger in the transverse direction. Echoes often disappear rapidly: the clouds either disappear quickly or have sharp edges. Spread Es has a curious structure of small clouds, each of which reflects only for a few seconds, but each cloud moves with the same velocity, typically 100 m/s, even though the heights of the clouds vary up to 10 km. It is difficult to reconcile this finding with the presence of wind shears.

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