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In-situ measurements ofwave electric fields in the equatorial electrojet
Geophysical Research Letters (1982)
  • R. C. Pfaff
  • M. C. Kelley
  • Bela G. Fejer, Utah State University
  • N. C. Maynard
  • K. D. Baker
Electric field wave measurements have been performed on two sounding rockets in the equatorial ionosphere. During a daytime flight from Chilca, Peru, intense electrostatic waves were detected on the upward directed electron density gradient. During a nighttime flight from Kwajalein Atoll, similar waves were detected on a downward directed gradient. These results are in agreement with a gradient drift instability explanation of the generation of the waves. The wave amplitudes were as high as 5 mV/m implying perturbation drifts comparable to the driving drift velocities. Power spectra from the turbulent region show a peak at long wavelengths, followed by a nearly flat spectral region before breaking into a power law form with negative index of 3.6–3.7 for λ≤30m. Similarities between the spectra of the two flights suggest that the fundamental processes of the instabilities are the same in the day and nighttime conditions. The rocket data are consistent with radar results presented in a companion paper which show coherent, kilometer scale waves present in the electrojet.
  • In-situ,
  • wave,
  • electric,
  • field,
  • equator,
  • electrojet,
  • eqautorial
Publication Date
June, 1982
Publisher Statement
Copyright 1982 by the American Geophysical Union. DOI: 10.1029/GL009i006p00688
Citation Information
Pfaff, R. C., M. C. Kelley, B. G. Fejer, N. C. Maynard, and K. D. Baker, In-situ measurements of wave electric fields in the equatorial electrojet, Geophys. Res. Letts., 9, 688, 1982.