The Remote Equatorial Nighttime Observatory of Ionospheric Regions (RENOIR): Status and Science Objective

TitleThe Remote Equatorial Nighttime Observatory of Ionospheric Regions (RENOIR): Status and Science Objective
Publication TypeConference Talk
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsMakela, JJ, Meriwether, JW
Conference Name37th COSPAR Scientific Assembly
Date Published07/2008
Conference LocationMontreal, Canada
AbstractThe Remote Equatorial Nighttime Observatory of Ionospheric Regions (RENOIR) project is a joint collaboration between researchers from several institutions to study the ionospheric effects caused by equatorial plasma instabilities and thermosphere-ionosphere coupling. RENOIR consists of two portable Fabry-Perot interferometers, a portable wide-angle ionospheric imaging system, a dual-frequency GPS receiver, and an array of single-frequency GPS scintillation monitors. The wide-field imaging system will be used to characterize the two-dimensional (latitude vs longitude) structure of the depletions associated with the equatorial plasma bubbles. This will be done by measuring the natural emissions occurring in the ionosphere at wavelengths of 630.0 and 777.4 nm. The two FPI systems will be used to measure the background thermospheric neutral winds and the neutral temperature. From the FPI data, we will be able to deduce what, if any, control neutral dynamics have on the development of these irregularities. Two systems are included so we can field them at sites separated in latitude in order to study wind gradients and gravity waves known to be present in the thermosphere. The dual-frequency GPS receiver is used to characterize the electron density present in the ionosphere. This data will be used to deduce how the background electron density affects the development of irregularities. Having a GPS receiver collocated with the other equipment is crucial as the severe gradients associated with the depletions can create ambiguities when using data from instruments separated by even a relatively short distance. The array of single-frequency GPS receivers will be used to measure the drift velocities of the small-scale irregularities internal to the large-scale plasma depletions observed by the imaging system. In this way, we will be able to deduce how the internal velocities of the small-scale irregularities relate to the overall drift velocity of the depletions and the background thermospheric neutral wind. The GPS equipment will also be used to characterize the adverse effects these irregularities have on L-band transionospheric signals. In this talk, we will discuss the current status of deployment of the first RENOIR site to Cape Verde as well as the scientific goals and preliminary results of this deployment.