Monitoring of the turbulent solar wind with the upgraded Large Phased Array of the Lebedev Institute of Physics: First results
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The design properties and technical characteristics of the upgraded Large Phased Array (LPA) are briefly described. The results of an annual cycle of observations of interplanetary scintillations of radio sources on the LPA with the new 96-beam BEAM 3 system are presented. Within a day, about 5000 radio sources displaying second-timescale fluctuations in their flux densities due to interplanetary scintillations were observed. At present, the parameters of many of these radio sources are unknown. Therefore, the number of sources with root-mean-square flux-density fluctuations greater than 0.2 Jy in a 3° × 3° area of sky was used to characterize the scintillation level. The observational data obtained during the period of the maximum of solar cycle 24 can be interpreted using a three-component model for the spatial structure of the solar wind, consisting of a stable global component, propagating disturbances, and corotating structures. The global component corresponds to the spherically symmetric structure of the distribution of the turbulent interplanetary plasma. Disturbances propagating from the Sun are observed against the background of the global structure. Propagating disturbances recorded at heliocentric distances of 0.4–1 AU and at all heliolatitudes reach the Earth’s orbit one to two days after the scintillation enhancement. Enhancements of ionospheric scintillations are observed during night-time. Corotating disturbances have a recurrence period of 27d. Disturbances of the ionosphere are observed as the coronal base of a corotating structure approaches the western edge of the solar limb.
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