skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 10:00 PM ET on Friday, December 8 until 2:00 AM ET on Saturday, December 9 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Rodrigues, F. S."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    We describe a mode for two-dimensional UHF (445 MHz) radar observations ofF-region irregularities using the 14-panel version of the advanced modular incoherent scatter radar (AMISR-14). We also present and discuss examples of observations made by this mode. AMISR-14 is installed at the Jicamarca Radio Observatory (JRO, 11.95°S, 76.87°W, ~ 0.5° dip latitude) in Peru and, therefore, allows studies of ionospheric irregularities at the magnetic equator. The new mode takes advantage of the electronic beam-steering capability of the system to scan the equatorialF-region in the east–west direction. Therefore, it produces two-dimensional views of the spatial distribution of sub-meter field-aligned density irregularities in the magnetic equatorial plane. The scans have a temporal resolution of 20 s and allow observations over a zonal distance of approximately 400 km at mainF-region heights. While the system has a lower angular and range resolution than interferometric in-beam VHF radar imaging observations available at Jicamarca, it allows a wider field-of-view than that allowed with the VHF system. Here, we describe the mode, and present and discuss examples of observations made with the system. We also discuss implications of these observations for studies of ESF at the JRO.

    Graphical abstract

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    The 14‐panel Advanced Modular Incoherent Scatter Radar (AMISR‐14) system deployed at Jicamarca observed equatorial spread F plumes on two consecutive nights under unfavorable seasonal and solar flux conditions during a period that can be categorized as geomagnetically quiet. The AMISR‐14 capability of observing in multiple pointing directions allowed the characterization of the irregularity zonal drifts revealing that, in addition to their atypical occurrence, the zonal drifts of these plumes/irregularities also presented distinct patterns from one night to another, reversing from east to west on the second night. This work addresses two main subjects: (a) the mechanisms that may have led to the generation of these irregularities, despite the unfavorable conditions, and (b) the mechanisms that possibly led to the reversal (east‐to‐west) in the zonal plasma drift on the second night. To do so a multi‐instrumented and multi‐location investigation was performed. The results indicate the occurrence of simultaneous spread‐F events over the Peruvian and the Brazilian regions, evidencing a non‐local process favoring the development of the irregularities. The results also suggest that, even under very mild geomagnetic perturbation conditions, the recurring penetration of electric fields in the equatorial ionosphere can occur promptly, modifying the equatorial electrodynamics and providing favorable conditions for the plume development. Moreover, the results confirm that the eastward penetration electric fields, combined with the upsurge of Hall conductivity in the nighttime typically associated with the presence of sporadic‐E layers, are likely to be the mechanism leading to the reversal in the irregularity zonal drifts over these regions.

    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Ionospheric scintillation and fading events over low‐latitude regions are often caused by severely depleted geomagnetic field‐aligned structures known as Equatorial Plasma Bubbles. These events are subject of interest to scientific investigations and concern to technological applications. Over the past several years, most of scintillation studies have focused on the dependence of these events on density gradients, location, local time, geomagnetic conditions, and so forth. This work presents a discussion about the role of the alignment between the signal propagation path and the depleted structures or, equivalently, the geomagnetic field lines, on the observed scintillation and deep fading characteristics. Data from three stations (dip latitudes: 16.13°S, 19.87°S, and 22.05°S) located around the Equatorial Ionization Anomaly (EIA) region were used to assess the amplitude scintillation severity and the deep fading events features under aligned and nonaligned conditions. The results show that the alignment condition plays a crucial role in the occurrence of strong scintillation. The study also revealed that, as stations far from the crests of the EIA are considered, the alignment influence seems to increase, and that a combination of strong plasma density fluctuation and increased aligned path is, presumably, the configuration under which the most severe scintillation and drastic deep fading events are observed. The results indicate that this conjunction is typically met in regions somewhat distinct from that with largest plasma density background over the Brazilian region, therefore, strongest scintillation and largest deep fading rates were observed by a station slightly off‐the EIA peak.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    While low and high‐latitude ionospheric scintillation have been extensively reported, significantly less information is available about the properties of and conditions leading to mid‐latitude scintillations. Here, we report and discuss scintillation observations made in the Southern United States (UT Dallas, 32.99°N, 96.76°W, 43.2°N dip latitude) on June 1st, 2013. The measurements were made by a specialized dual‐frequency GPS‐based scintillation monitor which allowed us to determine main properties of this mid‐latitude scintillation event. Additionally, simultaneous airglow observations and ionospheric total electron content (TEC) maps provided insight on the conditions leading to observed scintillations. Moderate amplitude scintillations (S4>∼0.4) occurred in both L1 and L2C signals, and severe (S4 > ∼0.8) events occurred in L2C signals at low (<30°) elevation angles. Phase scintillation accompanied amplitude fadings, with maximum σϕvalues exceeding 0.5 radians in L2C. We also show that the observed phase scintillation magnitudes increased with amplitude scintillation severity. Decorrelation times were mostly between 0.25 and 1.25 s, with mean value around 0.65 s for both L1 and L2C. Frequency scaling of S4matched fairly well the predictions of weak scattering theory but held for observations of moderate and strong amplitude scintillation as well. Scintillation occurred during the main phase of a modest magnetic storm that, nevertheless, prompted an extreme equatorward movement of the mid‐latitude trough and large background TEC enhancements over the US. Scintillations, however, occurred within TEC and airglow depletions observed over Texas. Finally, scintillation properties including severity and rapidity, and associated TEC signatures are comparable to those associated with equatorial spread F.

    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    We report the proposal and results of a low‐cost, easy‐to‐build GPS‐based sensor for detection and monitoring ionospheric irregularities through the detection of amplitude scintillation. The system is based on the Raspberry Pi single‐board computer combined with an Adafruit Ultimate GPS peripheral, which is capable of measuring (at 10‐Hz rate) the intensity of the L1 signals transmitted by GPS satellites. We introduce and discuss results of short‐ and long‐term observations obtained with a prototype of this system deployed in Presidente Prudente, a low magnetic latitude site in Brazil. The deployment and observations were carried out to test the ability of the system to detect ionospheric scintillations and, therefore, monitor the occurrence of ionospheric irregularities associated with equatorial spreadF. Our results show that this low‐cost sensor is indeed capable of detecting scintillation events associated with equatorial spreadF. Comparison with simultaneous, collocated measurements made by a commercial scintillation monitor are also presented. The joint observations allowed us to quantify the performance of the low‐cost monitor and to identify sources of potential limitations. While the sensor cannot (and it was not intended to) substitute commercial scintillation monitors, the low cost allows its use in studies of ionospheric irregularities (space weather) that require observations made by distributed arrays of small instruments (DASI). Furthermore, the simplicity of the sensor design stimulates its use in educational and citizen science initiatives.

    more » « less
  6. Abstract

    Previous radar studies have shown that magnitude of the vertical component of equatorial ionosphericE×Bplasma drifts can vary significantly with height, even within mainFregion altitudes. These studies, however, were limited to few observation days. In order to properly quantify the height variation of equatorialFregion vertical drifts, we examined 559 days of measurements made by the incoherent scatter radar of the Jicamarca Radio Observatory between the years of 1986 and 2017. From the observed profiles of vertical plasma drifts, we determined the mean behavior and variability of the height gradients as a function of local time and two distinct solar flux conditions (meanF10.7around 80 and 150 SFU). Only observations made under geomagnetically quiet conditions were considered. Our results quantify the enhanced negative height gradients of vertical drifts near sunset that have been reported in the past. More importantly, we also identify and explain an enhancement in positive gradients near sunrise. We discuss the variability of the height gradients in vertical ionosphericE×Bdrifts at main equatorialFregion heights, and the impact of this variability for satellite observations and studies of ionospheric stability and equatorial spreadF.

    more » « less
  7. Abstract

    We present the results of an analysis of long‐term measurements of ionosphericFregionE × Bplasma drifts in the American/Peruvian sector. The analysis used observations made between 1986 and 2017 by the incoherent scatter radar of the Jicamarca Radio Observatory. Unlike previous studies, we analyzed both vertical and zonal components of the plasma drifts to derive the geomagnetically quiet time climatological variation of the drifts as a function of height and local time. We determine the average behavior of the height profiles of the drifts for different seasons and distinct solar flux conditions. Our results show good agreement with previous height‐averaged climatological results of vertical and zonal plasma drifts, despite that they are obtained from different sets of measurements. More importantly, our results quantify average height variations in the drifts. The results show, for example, the solar flux control over the height variation of the vertical drifts. The results also show the weak dependence of the daytime zonal drift profiles on solar and seasonal variations. We quantify the effects of seasonal and solar flux variations on the morphology of the vertical shear in the zonal plasma drifts associated with the evening plasma vortex. Assuming interchangeability between local time and longitude, we tested the curl‐free condition for theFregion electric fields with very good results for all seasons and solar flux conditions. We envision the use of our results to aid numerical modeling of ionospheric electrodynamics and structuring and to assist with the interpretation of satellite observations of low‐latitude plasma drifts.

    more » « less
  8. Abstract

    Nighttime airglow images observed at the low‐latitude site of São João do Cariri (7.4°S, 36.5°W) showed the presence of a medium‐scale atmospheric gravity wave (AGW) associated with the 21 August 2017 total solar eclipse. The AGW had a horizontal wavelength of1,618 km, observed period of152 min, and propagation direction of200° clockwise from the north. The spectral characteristics of this wave are in good agreement with theoretical predictions for waves generated by eclipses. Additionally, the wave was reverse ray‐traced, and the results show its path crossing the Moon's shadow of the total solar eclipse in the tropical North Atlantic ocean at stratospheric altitudes. Investigation about potential driving sources for this wave indicates the total solar eclipse as the most likely candidate. The optical measurements were part of an observational campaign carried out to detect the impact of the August 21 eclipse in the atmosphere at low latitudes.

    more » « less