Space Science Reviews

, Volume 98, Issue 3, pp 223-328

First online:

Stimulated electromagnetic emissions by high-frequency electromagnetic pumping of the ionospheric plasma

  • T.B. LeyserAffiliated withDepartment of Physics and Astronomy, University of California

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A high frequency electromagnetic pump wave transmitted into the ionospheric plasma from the ground can stimulate electromagnetic radiation with frequencies around that of the ionospherically reflected pump wave. The numerous spectral features of these stimulated electromagnetic emissions (SEE) and their temporal evolution on a wide range of time scales are reviewed and related theoretical, numerical, and simulation results are discussed. On long (thermal) time scales the SEE constitutes a self-organization of the ionospheric plasma which depends on the interaction of nonlinear processes in a hierarchy of time scales in response to the electromagnetic pumping. Particularly, the appearance of the rich SEE spectrum is associated with the slow self-structuring of the plasma density into a spectrum of magnetic field-aligned density striations. The dependence of the SEE on electron gyroharmonic effects and the presence of density striations suggests that the existence of a magnetic field in the plasma is important for plasma turbulence to dissipate into non-thermal electromagnetic radiation during the long time quasi-stationary state of the turbulence evolution.