Incoherent and coherent scatter radar studies of the equatorial F region
Radio waves are weakly scattered by thermal fluctuations in the quasiequilibrium ionospheric plasma. Coherent scatter echoes, meanwhile, are caused by non-thermal electron density fluctuations generated by plasma instabilities and are much stronger than incoherent scatter (IS) echoes. The spectra of IS echoes provide information about parameters of the background plasma such as electron density, temperatures, and ion composition. On the other hand, coherent scatter echoes provide an indication of the turbulent state of the ionospheric plasma. This dissertation describes coherent and incoherent backscatter radar observations of the F region ionosphere in the magnetic equatorial region using the Jicamarca IS radar in Peru and the Sao Lu ˜ ´ıs coherent backscatter radar in Brazil.