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Daytona Beach


Physical Sciences

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An electrostatic parallel particle‐in‐cell (EPPIC) code that allows for particle beam injections and multiple boundary conditions is used to investigate the beam‐plasma interaction and its manifestations in the incoherent scatter (IS) spectrum. Specifically, the code is used to investigate anomalous enhancements in the ion acoustic line through the destabilization of the plasma by injection (or precipitation) of low‐energy electron beams. This enhancement of the ion acoustic line is a form of IS distortion commonly observed in the vicinity of auroral arcs called the naturally enhanced ion‐acoustic line (NEIAL). Simulations confirm the parametric decay of Langmuir waves as a plausible mechanism, assuming a mechanism for the formation of dense low‐energy (eV) electron beams in the ionosphere. The spectral distortions are similar at aspect angles as large as ±15° from the beam direction. Simulations also show that the first Langmuir harmonic can have a power intensity higher than that of the ion acoustic line of a thermal plasma. Conditions which would allow the detection of Langmuir harmonics with existing incoherent scatter radars are discussed.

Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics


Additional Information

Diaz, M. A., M. Oppenheim, J. L. Semeter, and M. Zettergren (2011), Particle‐in‐cell simulation of incoherent scatter radar spectral distortions related to beam‐plasma interactions in the auroral ionosphere,J. Geophys. Res.,116, A00K10. To view the published open abstract, go to and enter the DOI.

Required Publisher’s Statement

An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright (year) American Geophysical Union.