Recent Observations of Beam Plasma Interactions in the Ionosphere and a Comparison with Laboratory Studies of the Beam Plasma Discharge
NASA Rocket 27:010 AE (E∥B) launched April 9, 1978 from the Churchill Research Range, carried a modest accelerator which injected programmed electron beams of <100 ma at 2 and 4 kV into the ionospheric plasma over the altitude range 120–240 km. A major objective of this experiment was the study of beam-plasma interactions and the possible identification of the ignition of the Beam-Plasma Discharge which has been intensively studied in laboratory configurations.
the dependence of the 3914 Å light intensity on the spatial configuration, altitude, and beam current and voltage;
the energy spectrum of the electron flux returning to the payload during injection;
characteristics of the energetic electron flux and spatial distribution in the disturbed region surrounding the payload;
VLF and RF wave spectrums.
These data will be compared to those obtained in the laboratory experiments for similar operating conditions. Many features are clearly consistent with BPD ignition; however, other features are ambiguous. No correlations of the BPD features with intense auroral precipitation were apparent.
KeywordsPitch Angle Ionospheric Plasma Beam Injection Beam Emission Volt Period
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