Study of Narrow-Band Spectral Characteristics of Stimulated Electromagnetic Emission (SEE) During Second Electron Gyro-Harmonic Heating
Stimulated Electromagnetic Emissions SEEs may provide important diagnostic information about space plasma composition, energetics, and dynamics during active experiments in which ground-based high powered radio waves are transmitted into the ionosphere. The nonlinear plasma processes producing this secondary radiation are not well understood particularly for some recent observations where the transmitter (pump) frequency is near the second harmonic of the electron gyro-frequency. New, more comprehensive, experimental observations of spectral features within 1kHz of the pump wave frequency are reported here in order to begin more careful comparisons of the experimental observations and a possible theoretical underpinning which is also provided. The experimental observations typically show two distinct types of secondary radiation spectra which are a) discrete narrowband harmonic spectral structures ordered by the ion gyro-frequency, so-called stimulated ion Bernstein Scatter (SIBS) and, b) broadband spectral structure with center frequency near 500 Hz and similar spectral bandwidth named ion acoustic parametric decay (IAPD). A theoretical model is provided that interprets these spectral features as resulting from parametric decay instabilities in which the pump field ultimately decays into high frequency upper hybrid/electron Bernstein and low frequency neutralized ion Bernstein and/or obliquely propagating ion acoustic waves at the upper hybrid interaction altitude. Detailed calculations of the threshold level, growth rate, unstable wavenumber and frequency bandwidth of the instabilities are provided for comparisons with experimental observations. An assessment of the effect of the critical instability parameters are provided including pump electric field strength, proximity of the pump frequency to the electron gyro-frequency and pump electric field geometry. The model shows quite reasonable agreement with the experimental observations.
Next, a two dimensional Particle-In-Cell Monte-Carlo Collision computational model (PIC-MCC) is employed in order to consider nonlinear aspects such as 1) electron acceleration through wave-particle heating, 2) more complex nonlinear wave-wave processes and 3) temporal evolution of electron irregularities through nonlinear saturation. The simulation results show that the IB associated parametric decay is primarily associated with electron acceleration perpendicular to the geomagnetic field. More gyro-harmonic lines are typically associated with more intense heating. Heating is reduced when the pump frequency is sufficiently close to 2fce. The IA associated parametric decay instability is primarily associated with electron tail heating along the magnetic field and heating is reduced when the pump frequency is sufficiently close to 2fce. Characteristics of caviton collapse behavior become prevalent in this case. Results are discussed within the context of some recent experimental observations. Further discussions are provided of connections with past observed SEE spectral features and potential new diagnostic information provided by these newly categorized spectra.