An unusual spread-F-like event over Arecibo

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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.

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We describe an apparent mid-latitude spread-F-like event identified with the Arecibo Observatory (AO) incoherent scatter radar (ISR) but also observed using a newly introduced software-defined HF radar and via analysis of Global Positioning System-Total Electron Content (GPS-TEC) data. We show that this event was in fact nonlocal and appeared, as seen in delta-vTEC Keogram results to be propagating from west-to-east and back to the west crossing over AO twice. We suggest that this event, while indistinguishable from similar long ISR-observed events, has strong non-local properties. The combination of observations, from multiple instruments of this unique event helps tie its development and progression. The Penn State Ionospheric Radar Imager (PIRI), essentially a single frequency ionosonde, was deployed near AO (18.36° N, 66.75° W, 46.5° dip-angle, and fo = 4.42 MHz), Puerto Rico. The apparent PIRI-observed range spread of the event exceeds 400 km-a likely indication of spread-F viewed with an ionosonde. We also compare PIRI results with ISR and GPS-TEC results. ISR range-time intensity plots show rather a calm ionosphere, with exception of a major upwelling, that seems to include kilometer-scale layered structures, in the F-region. In contrast, the HF radar observations reveal that the ionosphere is disturbed by Perkins-like large scale instability structures. The data set is exceptional, consisting of simultaneous fixed frequency, wide-beam high frequency (HF) radar observations, ISR power intensity maps, and delta-vTEC measurements. These joint data sets characterized the nighttime ionosphere F-region and offer new insights into the ionospheric processes leading to what is observed by the very narrow-beam ISR.


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2021 34th General Assembly and Scientific Symposium of the International Union of Radio Science, URSI GASS 2021

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