Experiments and theory on parametric instabilities excited in HF heating experiments at HAARP

Spencer Kuo, Arnold Snyder, M. C. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parametric instabilities excited by O-mode HF heater and the induced ionospheric modification were explored via HAARP digisonde operated in a fast mode. The impact of excited Langmuir waves and upper hybrid waves on the ionosphere are manifested by bumps in the virtual spread, which expand the ionogram echoes upward as much as 140km and the downward range spread of the sounding echoes, which exceeds 50km over a significant frequency range. The theory of parametric instabilities is presented. The theory identifies the ionogram bump located between the 3.2MHz heater frequency and the upper hybrid resonance frequency and the bump below the upper hybrid resonance frequency to be associated with the Langmuir and upper hybrid instabilities, respectively. The Langmuir bump is located close to the upper hybrid resonance frequency, rather than to the heater frequency, consistent with the theory. Each bump in the virtual height spread of the ionogram is similar to the cusp occurring in daytime ionograms at the E-F2 layer transition, indicating that there is a small ledge in the density profile similar to E-F2 layer transitions. The experimental results also show that the strong impact of the upper hybrid instability on the ionosphere can suppress the Langmuir instability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number062902
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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