Since the year 1984, 9 medium to high apogee (500-1000 km) rockets carrying several plasma diagnostic instruments were launched from the equatorial rocket launching stations located in Natal (5.9°S; 35.2°W) and Alcantara (2.31°S; 44.4°W) in Brazil. These instruments included Swept Bias Langmuir Probes used for measuring the electron density and electron temperature, High Frequency Capacitance Probes used to measure electron density, Electric Field Double Probes used to measure the ionospheric dc and ac electric fields and Electron Temperature Probes. Two of these measurements were made during daytime (one from Natal and the other from Alcantara) and the remaining 7 during night time (2 from Natal and 5 from Alcantara). The results are reported here to provide a database for the purpose of modeling of the equatorial and low latitude ionosphere. These height profiles are also compared with those obtained from the existing ionospheric models with the primary objective of bringing out the relative importance of the different physical processes that are taking place in the equatorial ionosphere. This comparative study brings out clearly the inadequacy of the existing ionospheric models to explain the height profiles of the equatorial ionospheric plasma density and temperature. Some suggestions are made here to improve the models to obtain good agreement between observed and modeled profiles and to adopt them to the equatorial and low latitude conditions.
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 1999 Dec 1|
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