Theory of beat wave excitation in an inhomogeneous plasma

A. D. Ryutov, S. C. Cowley, E. J. Valeo

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The theory of beat wave excitation in a slightly inhomogeneous plasma is presented. While the theory is general it applies directly to the experiments performed in Alaska by the ionospheric heating facilities HIPAS [High Power Auroral Simulation, Radio Sci. 25, 1269 (1990)] and HAARP [High Frequency Active Auroral Research Project, Geophys. Res. Lett. 25, 257 (1998)]. A ray tracing (WKB) formalism appropriate for computations is developed. The computational implementation of this formalism and extensive results will be presented in a follow up to this paper. Also the beat wave excitation of upper-hybrid waves is investigated analytically. The complicated trajectories of these waves in the plasma are described. When this beat wave reaches the plasma wave resonance it can. in the HIPAS-HAARP experiments, attain nonlinear amplitude. The electrostatic upper-hybrid waves are trapped around the density maximum of the ionosphere. This trapping is investigated in detail. Beat wave pumping of the trapped modes is possible using HAARP and HIPAS or with split beams from HAARP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-47
Number of pages12
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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