TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 61 (No. 4), pp. 431-437, 2009

VHF radar observations of nighttime F-region field-aligned irregularities over Kototabang, Indonesia

Y. Otsuka1, T. Ogawa1, and Effendy2

1Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University, Japan
2National Institute for Aeronautics and Space, Bandung, Indonesia

(Received December 6, 2007; Revised June 15, 2008; Accepted July 3, 2008; Online published May 14, 2009)

Abstract: We report, for the first time, continuous observations of the nighttime F-region field-aligned irregularities (FAIs) over Indonesia. A VHF radar with operating frequency of 30.8 MHz and peak power of 20 kW has been operated at Kototabang (0.20°S, 100.32°E; dip latitude 10.4°S), Indonesia since February 2006. Five beams were allocated between ±54° in azimuth around geographic south (126°-234°). From the continuous observation from February 2006 to November 2007, we found that FAIs appeared frequently at pre-midnight between March and May and at post-midnight between May and August. The pre-midnight FAIs coincided well with GPS scintillation observed at the same site. Seasonal and local time variations of the pre-midnight FAI occurrence are consistent with those of equatorial plasma bubbles reported in previous studies (e.g., Maruyama and Matuura, 1984). These results indicate that the pre-midnight FAIs could be associated with the equatorial plasma bubbles. On the other hand, seasonal and local time variations of the post-midnight FAIs were inconsistent with those of the plasma bubbles. The features of the post-midnight FAIs can be summarized as follows: (1) The post-midnight FAIs are not accompanied by GPS scintillations. (2) Most of the post-midnight FAI regions do not show propagation, but some of them propagate westward. (3) Echo intensity of the post-midnight FAIs was weaker than that of the pre-midnight FAIs. These features are similar to those of the FAI echoes that have been observed at mid-latitude (e.g., Fukao et al., 1991). At Kototabang, Fukao et al. (2004) have firstly observed FAIs that resemble those at mid-latitude. The present paper reports statistical characteristics of the mid-latitude-type FAIs observed at Kototabang.
Key words: Equatorial ionosphere, field-aligned irregularity, VHF radar, GPS, scintillation.

Corresponding author E-mail: otsuka@stelab.nagoya-u.ac.jp

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