For almost twenty years, bursty radio emissions at 1.5-4.5 MHz, originating in Earth's high latitude ionosphere, have been described and probed with multiple experiments. The emission mechanism remains a mystery, though recently a theory has been proposed. We have set up arrays of antennas attached to sensitive digital receivers at several Arctic and Antarctic locations, to perform measurements needed to test the theory. In addition, we are investigating signals similar to the burst emissions detected by NASA satellites. Since it is unlikely that the emission mechanism is unique to Earth's ionosphere, its identification will probably lead to predictions or explanations of radio emissions from other space plasmas, in addition to providing a passive method to remotely sense plasma properties and processes in Earth's ionosphere.
FACULTY CONTACT: James LaBelle