Controlled beat-wave Brillouin scattering in the ionosphere

Eliasson, B. and Senior, A. and Rietveld, M. and Phelps, A. D. R. and Cairns, R. A. and Ronald, K. and Speirs, D. C. and Trines, R. M. G. M. and McCrea, I. and Bamford, R. and Mendonca, J. T. and Bingham, R. (2021) Controlled beat-wave Brillouin scattering in the ionosphere. Nature Communications, 12. 6209. ISSN 2041-1723 (

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Stimulated Brillouin scattering experiments in the ionospheric plasma using a single electromagnetic pump wave have previously been observed to generate an electromagnetic sideband wave, emitted by the plasma, together with an ion- acoustic wave. Here we report results of a controlled, pump and probe beat-wave driven Brillouin scattering experiment, in which an ion-acoustic wave generated by the beating of electromagnetic pump and probe waves, results in electromagnetic sideband waves that are recorded on the ground. The experiment used the EISCAT facility in northern Norway, which has several high power electromagnetic wave transmitters and receivers in the radio frequency range. An electromagnetic pump consisting of large amplitude radio waves with ordinary (O) or extraordinary (X) mode polarization was injected into the overhead ionosphere, along with a less powerful probe wave, and radio sideband emissions observed on the ground clearly show stimulated Brillouin emissions at frequencies agreeing with, and changing with, the pump and probe frequencies. The experiment was simulated using a numerical full-scale model which clearly supports the interpretation of the experimental results. Such controlled beat-wave experiments demonstrate a way of remotely investigating the ionospheric plasma parameters.