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dc.contributor.authorRathod, Chiragen
dc.date.accessioned2021-03-31T08:00:49Zen
dc.date.available2021-03-31T08:00:49Zen
dc.date.issued2021-03-30en
dc.identifier.othervt_gsexam:29417en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/102892en
dc.description.abstractTurbulence in the ionosphere is important to understand because it can negatively affect communication signals. This work examines different scenarios in the ionosphere in which turbulence may develop. The two main causes of turbulence considered in this work are the gradient drift instability (GDI) and the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (KHI). The likelihood of the development of the GDI during the August 17, 2017 total solar eclipse is studied numerically. This analysis uses the ``Sami3 is Also a Model of the Ionosphere" (SAMI3) model to study the effect of the eclipse on the plasma density. The calculated GDI growth rates are small compared to how quickly the eclipse moves over the Earth. Therefore, the GDI is not expected to occur during the solar eclipse. A novel 2D electrostatic pseudo-spectral fluid model is developed to study the growth of these two instabilities and the problem of ionospheric turbulence in general. To focus on the ionospheric turbulence, a set of perturbed governing equations are derived. The model accurately captures the GDI growth rate in different limits; it is also benchmarked to the evolution of instability development in different collisional regimes of a plasma cloud. The newly developed model is used to study if the GDI is the cause of density irregularities observed in subauroral polarization streams (SAPS). Data from Global Positioning System (GPS) scintillations and the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) are used to examine the latitudinal density and velocity profiles of SAPS. It is found that the GDI is stabilized by velocity shear and therefore will only generate density irregularities in regions of low velocity shear. Furthermore, the density irregularities cannot extend through regions of large velocity shear. In certain cases, the turbulence cascade power laws match observation and theory. The transition between the KHI and the GDI is studied by understanding the effect of collisions. In low collisionality regimes, the KHI is the dominant instability. In high collisionality regimes, the GDI is the dominant instability. Using nominal ionospheric parameters, a prediction is provided that suggests that there exists an altitude in the upper textit{F} region ionosphere above which the turbulence is dominated by the KHI.en
dc.format.mediumETDen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.rights.urihttp://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/en
dc.subjectPlasma instabilitiesen
dc.subjectcomputational physicsen
dc.subjectspace scienceen
dc.subjectturbulenceen
dc.subjectpseudo-spectral methodsen
dc.subjectionosphereen
dc.titleExamining Plasma Instabilities as Ionospheric Turbulence Generation Mechanisms Using Pseudo-Spectral Methodsen
dc.typeDissertationen
dc.contributor.departmentAerospace and Ocean Engineeringen
dc.description.degreeDoctor of Philosophyen
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen
thesis.degree.disciplineAerospace Engineeringen
dc.contributor.committeechairScales, Wayne A.en
dc.contributor.committeechairSrinivasan, Bhuvanaen
dc.contributor.committeememberBaker, Joseph Benjaminen
dc.contributor.committeememberEarle, Gregory D.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralIn the modern day, all wireless communication signals use electromagnetic waves that propagate through the atmosphere. In the upper atmosphere, there exists a region called the ionosphere, which consists of plasma (a mixture of ions, electrons, and neutral particles). Because ions and electrons are charged particles, they interact with the electromagnetic communication signals. A better understanding of ionospheric turbulence will allow for aid in forecasting space weather as well as improve future communication equipment. Communication signals become distorted as they pass through turbulent regions of the ionosphere, which negatively affects the signal quality at the receiving end. For a tangible example, when Global Positioning System (GPS) signals pass through turbulent regions of the ionosphere, the resulting position estimate becomes worse. This work looks at two specific causes of ionospheric turbulence: the gradient drift instability (GDI) and the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (KHI). Under the correct background conditions, these instabilities have the ability to generate ionospheric turbulence. To learn more about the GDI and the KHI, a novel simulation model is developed. The model uses a method of splitting the equations such that the focus is on just the development of the turbulence while considering spatially constant realistic background conditions. The model is shown to accurately represent results from previously studied problems in the ionosphere. This model is applied to an ionospheric phenomenon known as subauroral polarization streams (SAPS) to study the development of the GDI and the KHI. SAPS are regions of the ionosphere with large westward velocity that changes with latitude. The shape of the latitudinal velocity profile depends on many other factors in the ionosphere such as the geomagnetic conditions. It is found that for certain profiles, the GDI will form in SAPS with some of these examples matching observational data. At higher altitudes, the model predicts that the KHI will form instead. While the model is applied to just the development of the GDI and the KHI in this work, it is written in a general manner such that other causes of ionospheric turbulence can be easily studied in the future.en


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