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  1. Abstract

    Propagation of high‐frequency (HF) radio signals is strongly dependent on the ionospheric electron density structure along a communications link. The ground‐based, HF space weather radars of the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) utilize the ionospheric refraction of transmitted signals to monitor the global circulation ofE‐ andF‐region plasma irregularities. Previous studies have assessed the propagation characteristics of backscatter echoes from ionospheric irregularities in the auroral and polar regions of the Earth's ionosphere. By default, the geographic location of these echoes are found using empirical models which estimate the virtual backscattering height from the measured range along the radar signal path. However, the performance of these virtual height models has not yet been evaluated for mid‐latitude SuperDARN radar observations or for ground scatter (GS) propagation modes. In this study, we derive a virtual height model suitable for mid‐latitude SuperDARN observations using 5 years of data from the Christmas Valley East and West radars. This empirical model can be applied to both ionospheric and GS observations and provides an improved estimate of the ground range to the backscatter location compared to existing high‐latitude virtual height models. We also identify a region of overlapping half‐hopF‐region ionospheric scatter and one‐hopE‐region GS where the measured radar parameters (e.g., velocity, spectral width, elevation angle) are insufficient to discriminate between the two scatter types. Further studies are required to determine whether these backscatter echoes of ambiguous origin are observed by other mid‐latitude SuperDARN radars and their potential impact on scatter classification schemes.

     
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  2. The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) is an international network of ground-based, space weather radars which have operated continuously in the Arctic and Antarctic regions for more than 30 years. These high-frequency (HF) radars use over-the-horizon (OTH) radio wave propagation to detect ionospheric plasma structures across ranges of several thousand kilometers (km). As a byproduct of this technique, the transmitted radar signals frequently reflect from the Earth's surface and can be observed as ground backscatter echoes. The monthly files in this dataset contain maps of daily ground backscatter observations from the Clyde River (CLY) SuperDARN HF radar binned onto an equal-area 24 km grid. The CLY radar is located in Clyde River, Nunavut (70.49°N, 68.50°W) and is operated by the University of Saskatchewan (Principal Investigator: Kathryn A. McWilliams, kathryn.mcwilliams@usask.ca) with funding support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Province of Saskatchewan, and the Canadian Space Agency. 
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  3. The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) is an international network of ground-based, space weather radars which have operated continuously in the Arctic and Antarctic regions for more than 30 years. These high-frequency (HF) radars use over-the-horizon (OTH) radio wave propagation to detect ionospheric plasma structures across ranges of several thousand kilometers (km). As a byproduct of this technique, the transmitted radar signals frequently reflect from the Earth's surface and can be observed as ground backscatter echoes. The monthly files in this dataset contain maps of daily ground backscatter observations from the Goose Bay (GBR) SuperDARN HF radar binned onto an equal-area 24 km grid. The GBR radar is located in Labrador, Canada (53.32°N, 60.46°W) and is operated by Virginia Tech (Principal Investigator: J. Michael Ruohoniemi, mikeruo@vt.edu) with funding support from the National Science Foundation. 
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  4. The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) is an international network of ground-based, space weather radars which have operated continuously in the Arctic and Antarctic regions for more than 30 years. These high-frequency (HF) radars use over-the-horizon (OTH) radio wave propagation to detect ionospheric plasma structures across ranges of several thousand kilometers (km). As a byproduct of this technique, the transmitted radar signals frequently reflect from the Earth's surface and can be observed as ground backscatter echoes. The monthly files in this dataset contain maps of daily ground backscatter observations from the Iceland West (ICW) SuperDARN HF radar binned onto an equal-area 24 km grid. The ICW radar is located in Þykkvibær, Iceland (63.77°N, 20.54°W) and is operated by Dartmouth College (Principal Investigator: Simon G. Shepherd, simon.g.shepherd@dartmouth.edu) with funding support from the National Science Foundation. 
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  5. The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) is an international network of ground-based, space weather radars which have operated continuously in the Arctic and Antarctic regions for more than 30 years. These high-frequency (HF) radars use over-the-horizon (OTH) radio wave propagation to detect ionospheric plasma structures across ranges of several thousand kilometers (km). As a byproduct of this technique, the transmitted radar signals frequently reflect from the Earth's surface and can be observed as ground backscatter echoes. The monthly files in this dataset contain maps of daily ground backscatter observations from the Iceland East (ICE) SuperDARN HF radar binned onto an equal-area 24 km grid. The ICE radar is located in Þykkvibær, Iceland (63.77°N (North), 20.54°W (West)) and is operated by Dartmouth College (Principal Investigator: Simon G. Shepherd, simon.g.shepherd@dartmouth.edu) with funding support from the National Science Foundation. 
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  6. The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) is an international network of ground-based, space weather radars which have operated continuously in the Arctic and Antarctic regions for more than 30 years. These high-frequency (HF) radars use over-the-horizon (OTH) radio wave propagation to detect ionospheric plasma structures across ranges of several thousand kilometers (km). As a byproduct of this technique, the transmitted radar signals frequently reflect from the Earth's surface and can be observed as ground backscatter echoes. The monthly files in this dataset contain maps of daily ground backscatter observations from the Rankin Inlet (RKN) SuperDARN HF radar binned onto an equal-area 24 km grid. The RKN radar is located in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut (62.83°N (North), 92.11°W (West)) and is operated by the University of Saskatchewan (Principal Investigator: Kathryn A. McWilliams, kathryn.mcwilliams@usask.ca) with funding support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Province of Saskatchewan, and the Canadian Space Agency. 
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  7. The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) is an international network of ground-based, space weather radars which have operated continuously in the Arctic and Antarctic regions for more than 30 years. These high-frequency (HF) radars use over-the-horizon (OTH) radio wave propagation to detect ionospheric plasma structures across ranges of several thousand kilometers (km). As a byproduct of this technique, the transmitted radar signals frequently reflect from the Earth's surface and can be observed as ground backscatter echoes. The monthly files in this dataset contain maps of daily ground backscatter observations from the Longyearbyen (LYR) SuperDARN HF radar binned onto an equal-area 24 km grid. The LYR radar is located in Svalbard, Norway (78.15°N, 16.07°E) and is operated by the University Centre in Svalbard (Principal Investigator: Dag A. Lorentzen, dagl@unis.no) with funding support from the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and the ConocoPhillips and Lundin Arctic Approach Research Project. 
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  8. The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) is an international network of ground-based, space weather radars which have operated continuously in the Arctic and Antarctic regions for more than 30 years. These high-frequency (HF) radars use over-the-horizon (OTH) radio wave propagation to detect ionospheric plasma structures across ranges of several thousand kilometers (km). As a byproduct of this technique, the transmitted radar signals frequently reflect from the Earth's surface and can be observed as ground backscatter echoes. The monthly files in this dataset contain maps of daily ground backscatter observations from the Kapuskasing (KAP) SuperDARN HF radar binned onto an equal-area 24 km grid. The KAP radar is located in Ontario, Canada (49.39°N, 82.32°W) and is operated by Virginia Tech (Principal Investigator: J. Michael Ruohoniemi, mikeruo@vt.edu) with funding support from the National Science Foundation. 
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