15 Sep 2023
 | 15 Sep 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Difference spectrum fitting of the ion-neutral collision frequency from dual-frequency EISCAT measurements

Florian Günzkofer, Gunter Stober, Dimitry Pokhotelov, Yasunobu Miyoshi, and Claudia Borries

Abstract. Plasma-neutral coupling in the mesosphere/lower thermosphere strongly depends on the ion-neutral collision frequency across that region. Most commonly, the collision frequency profile is calculated from the climatologies of atmospheric models. However, previous measurements indicated that the collision frequency can deviate notably from the climatological average. Direct measurement of the ion-neutral collision frequency with multifrequency Incoherent Scatter Radar (ISR) measurements has been discussed before, though actual measurements have been rare. The previously applied multifrequency analysis method requires a special simultaneous fit of the two Incoherent Scatter spectra which is not possible with standard ISR analysis software. The difference spectrum method allows inferring ion-neutral collision frequency profiles from multifrequency ISR measurements based on standard Incoherent Scatter analysis software such as the GUISDAP software package. In this work, we present the first results by applying the difference spectrum method. Ion-neutral collision frequency profiles obtained from several multifrequency EISCAT ISR campaigns are presented. The profiles obtained with the difference spectrum method are compared to previous collision frequency measurements, both from multifrequency ISR and other measurements, as well as results from empirical and comprehensive atmosphere models. Ion-neutral collision frequency measurements can be applied to improve first-principle ionospheric models.

Florian Günzkofer et al.

Status: open (until 20 Oct 2023)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1495', Anonymous Referee #3, 16 Sep 2023 reply

Florian Günzkofer et al.

Florian Günzkofer et al.


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Short summary
Electric currents in the ionosphere can impact both satellite and ground-based infrastructure. These currents depend strongly on the collisions of ions and neutral particles. Measuring ion-neutral collisions is often only possible via certain assumptions. Direct measurement of ion-neutral collision frequencies is possible with multifrequency Incoherent Scatter Radar measurements. This paper presents one analysis method of such measurements and discusses its advantages and disadvantages.