LOFAR Observations of Substructure Within a Traveling Ionospheric Disturbance at Mid-Latitude

Gareth Dorrian*, Richard Fallows, Alan Wood, David R. Themens, Ben Boyde, Andrzej Krankowski, Mario Bisi, Bartosz Dąbrowski, Christian Vocks

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The large scale morphology and finer sub-structure within a slowly propagating traveling ionospheric disturbance (TID) are studied using wide band trans-ionospheric radio observations with the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR; van Haarlem et al., 2013, https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201220873). The observations were made under geomagnetically quiet conditions, between 0400 and 0800 on 7 January 2019, over the UK. In combination with ionograms and Global Navigation Satellite System Total Electron Content anomaly data we estimate the TID velocity to ∼60 ms−1, in a North-westerly direction. Clearly defined substructures with oscillation periods of ∼300 s were identified within the TID, corresponding to scale sizes of 20 km. At the geometries and observing wavelengths involved, the Fresnel scale is between 3 and 4 km, hence these substructures contribute significant refractive scattering to the received LOFAR signal. The refractive scattering is strongly coherent across the LOFAR bandwidth used here (25–64 MHz). The size of these structures distinguishes them from previously identified ionospheric scintillation with LOFAR in Fallows et al. (2020), https://doi.org/10.1051/swsc/2020010, where the scale sizes of the plasma structure varied from ∼500 m to 5 km.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022SW003198
Number of pages22
JournalSpace Weather
Volume21
Issue number1
Early online date12 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper is based on data obtained with the International LOFAR Telescope (ILT) under project code LT10_006. LOFAR (van Haarlem et al., 2013 ) is the LOFAR designed and constructed by ASTRON. It has observing, data processing, and data storage facilities in several countries, that are owned by various parties (each with their own funding sources), and that are collectively operated by the ILT foundation under a joint scientific policy. The ILT resources have benefited from the following recent major funding sources: CNRS‐INSU, Observatoire de Paris and Université d'Orléans, France; BMBF, MIWF‐NRW, MPG, Germany; Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI), Ireland; NWO, The Netherlands; The Science and Technology Facilities Council, UK; Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland. RAF was partially supported by the LOFAR4SW project, funded by the European Community's Horizon 2020 Program H2020 INFRADEV‐2017‐1 under Grant 777442. The assistance of Chloe Ellerton with proof reading and technical checks is greatly appreciated. This work at the University of Birmingham is supported by a research grant from the Leverhulme Trust. The services of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) British Isles continuous GNSS Facility (BIGF), www.bigf.ac.uk , in providing archived GNSS data to this study, are gratefully acknowledged. B. Dabrowski and A Krankowski thank the National Science Centre, Poland for granting “LOFAR observations of the solar corona during Parker Solar Probe perihelion passages” in Beethoven Classic 3 funding initiative under project number 2018/31/G/ST9/01341. The UWM authors also thank the Ministry of Education and Science (MES), Poland for granting funds for the Polish contribution to the International LOFAR Telescope (Agreement 2021/WK/02).

Funding Information:
This paper is based on data obtained with the International LOFAR Telescope (ILT) under project code LT10_006. LOFAR (van Haarlem et al., 2013) is the LOFAR designed and constructed by ASTRON. It has observing, data processing, and data storage facilities in several countries, that are owned by various parties (each with their own funding sources), and that are collectively operated by the ILT foundation under a joint scientific policy. The ILT resources have benefited from the following recent major funding sources: CNRS-INSU, Observatoire de Paris and Université d'Orléans, France; BMBF, MIWF-NRW, MPG, Germany; Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI), Ireland; NWO, The Netherlands; The Science and Technology Facilities Council, UK; Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland. RAF was partially supported by the LOFAR4SW project, funded by the European Community's Horizon 2020 Program H2020 INFRADEV-2017-1 under Grant 777442. The assistance of Chloe Ellerton with proof reading and technical checks is greatly appreciated. This work at the University of Birmingham is supported by a research grant from the Leverhulme Trust. The services of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) British Isles continuous GNSS Facility (BIGF), www.bigf.ac.uk, in providing archived GNSS data to this study, are gratefully acknowledged. B. Dabrowski and A Krankowski thank the National Science Centre, Poland for granting “LOFAR observations of the solar corona during Parker Solar Probe perihelion passages” in Beethoven Classic 3 funding initiative under project number 2018/31/G/ST9/01341. The UWM authors also thank the Ministry of Education and Science (MES), Poland for granting funds for the Polish contribution to the International LOFAR Telescope (Agreement 2021/WK/02).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023. The Authors.

Keywords

  • ionospheric scintillation
  • LOw frequency ARray
  • traveling ionospheric disturbance
  • SPACE PLASMA PHYSICS
  • Instruments useful in three or more fields
  • GENERAL OR MISCELLANEOUS
  • IONOSPHERE
  • Ionospheric disturbances
  • Instruments and techniques
  • Research Article
  • Ionospheric irregularities
  • Midlatitude ionosphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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