Generation of whistler waves by continuous HF heating of the upper ionosphere

A. Vartanyan, G. M. Milikh, B. Eliasson, A. C. Najmi, M. Parrot, K. Papadopoulos

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Broadband VLF waves in the frequency range 7–10 kkHz and 15–19 kHz, generated by F region CW HF ionospheric heating in the absence of electrojet currents, were detected by the DEMETER satellite overflying the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) transmitter during HAARP/BRIOCHE campaigns. The VLF waves are in a frequency range corresponding to the F region lower lybrid (LH) frequency and its harmonic. This paper aims to show that the VLF observations are whistler waves generated by mode conversion of LH waves that were parametrically excited by HF-pump-plasma interaction at the upper hybrid layer. The paper discusses the basic physics and presents a model that conjectures (1) the VLF waves observed at the LH frequency are due to the interaction of the LH waves with meter-scale field-aligned striations—generating whistler waves near the LH frequency; and (2) the VLF waves at twice the LH frequency are due to the interaction of two counterpropagating LH waves—generating whistler waves near the LH frequency harmonic. The model is supported by numerical simulations that show good agreement with the observations. The (Detection of Electromagnetic Emissions Transmitted from Earthquake Regions results and model discussions are complemented by the Kodiak radar, ionograms, and stimulated electromagnetic emission observations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1188-1198
Number of pages11
JournalRadio Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2016


  • whistler waves
  • lower hybrid waves
  • ionospheric heating
  • whistlers
  • mode conversion
  • nonlinear


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