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Ground Based Study

We are investigating auroral electrodynamics using ground based observations. The observational techniques to be used include optical imaging with both narrow-field and all-sky cameras, as well as radar observations using both coherent and incoherent scatter radars.

Four main topics will be investigated:

  1. Auroral arc width distribution and relation to arc lifetime and brightness.
  2. Return Current Region (RCR) auroral morphology and time dependence.
  3. Ionospheric feedback: The existence or not of large amplitude structures in the lower ionosphere on small spatial and/or short temporal scales.
  4. Ion outflows: Possible relationships and connections between ion outflows, soft electron precipitation, specific auroral types, BBELF (Broad-Band Extremely Low Frequency) waves, and NEIAL (Naturally Enhanced Ion-Acoustic Lines).

"Auroral spiral from Poker Flat, Alaska Photo by: Robert Michell"

"Aurora over Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo by: Robert Michell"

Thesis Proposal: Robert G. Michel

"Small-Scale Structures and Motions of Auroral Signatures as Observed From the Ground: A Planned Field Study Using Camera and Radar Observations"

Proposal Appendix


"Small-scale structures and motions of auroral signatures as observed from the ground: a planned field study using camera and radar observations "

Camera and radar observations of the aurora: Open questions for ground based studies

Preliminary Results for Return Current Region Structures


Neial Slides