Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 230, Issue 1–2, pp 405–413 | Cite as

Riometer absorption events at SANAE, L=4.0

  • P. H. Stoker


The absorption of cosmic radio noise passing through the ionosphere may be described as a function of radio wave frequencyA(f e ) αf e -n , with n ≈ 2.0 for spatially uniform precipitation of electrons and n < 2.0 for spatially nonuniform precipitation. Using multifrequency riometer recordings at SANAE, the following observations are reviewed: (1) The frequency distribution of the power index, n, obtained from 4 min averaged absorptions during 1983, shows a most probable value around n ≈ 1.5, indicating that mostly energetic electrons are precipitated spatially structured onto the upper atmosphere, as in optical aurora. (2) Multifrequency riometer recordings suggest that field-aligned ionospheric irregularities have scattered additional cosmic radio waves from the central region of the Galaxy into the fields of views of the riometer antennae during an auroral absorption event in the early morning hours of 27 July, 1982. With the power reflectivity by ionospheric irregularities inversely proportional to the fourth power of radio wave frequency, as required by the Bragg condition, an estimated 70% increase in the 20 MHz radio flux at 01:22 UT, at the strong absorption peak, can explain the strongly reduced absorption observed in 20 MHz relative to 30 and 51.4 MHz. (3) Gradual increases in absorptions observed at all three riometer frequencies from onset at 11:50 UT of the largest solar proton ground level enhancement on 29 September, 1989, until 18:00 UT, suggest diffusion of the much more intense low energy protons from the polar cap to the L=4.0 geomagnetic field shell and subsequent precipitation at SANAE due to the South Atlantic Geomagnetic Anomaly. (4) The flux of electron energy deposited per second at SANAE is closely related to geomagnetic activity, but has a lower maximum during the years 1971 and 1980 of solar polar magnetic reversals than in the years 1976 and 1986/87 of minimum solar activity. (5) A significant correlation has been found between the arrival of single-hop whistlers and 30 MHz riometer absorption events, using point statistics. The maximum absorption at 30 MHz was ∼0.04 dB with a delay of 3 ± 2 s relative to the whistler.

Key words

Ionosphere-Magnetosphere Coupling Energetic Electron Precipitation Bragg Scattering Solar Proton Events Whistlers 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. H. Stoker
    • 1
  1. 1.Space Research Unit, Department of PhysicsPotchefstroom University for CHESouth Africa

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