Dynamic Ionosphere

How do we get beyond the large-scale static picture of the ionosphere?

  • What is the role of small to meso-scale (< 200 km) features in the transfer of energy and momentum between the ionosphere and the magnetosphere?

  • What effects do ionospheric modifications in one hemisphere have at the conjugate point in the other hemisphere?

  • What are the effects of small-scale Birkeland current on ionospheric heating?

  • To what extend does the temporal variability depend on other parameters (e.g., intensity, scale size, local time and solar induced conductivity?


The BCSS will explore these questions using a multitude of ground-based optical and radar facilities (e.g., KHO,
SPEAR, SuperDARN and EISCAT) as well as space borne observations at ionospheric altitudes (ST 5, Dynamics Explorer and Iridium). We can separate spatial and temporal variations by monitoring the same volume of space using the ground-based instruments mentioned above, all of which will be running in special modes, to determine the line of sight flows, temperatures, plasma instabilities and small scale auroral features. The team has extensive experience with these instruments and techniques, thus ensuring the successful completion of the objective.