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Optical Measurements of Equatorial Plasma Depletions From Christmas Island

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Night time equatorial F region plasma irregularities (depletions) can significantly affect low-latitude communications and navigation systems. Deep plasma depletions referred to as plasma bubbles, can rise through the F region peak up to the topside ionosphere up to about 1500 km. The variability in the occurrence and intensity of equatorial plasma bubbles constituents an important problem in the study of the space weather. Air force Communication/Navigation Outage Forecasting System (C/NOFS) satellite is used to quantify and forecast ionospheric irregularities responsible for the development of equatorial spread F. The plasma depletion zonal velocity is a very important parameter for the understanding and modeling of the electrodynamics of the equatorial ionosphere and for the predictions of ionospheric scintillations.


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