It is of increasing interest to understand the coupling between the neutral and ionized atmosphere. Scattering of radio signals observed in ionogramas, plumes in scattering radar data, the observation of plasma bubbles in O(1S) 6300 images and the scintillation caused in GPS signals raised the question about which processes would be generating those phenomena. Scientific efforts in the past decade showed that they are linked to plasma instabilities that are generated at the bottom of the ionosphere F layer due to perturbations at its instable interface and atmospheric gravity waves (AGWs) are frequently pointed out as responsible in part to trigger that type of instability. This proposal has the intention to bring about clarifications of how much AGWs are involved in the process of seeding plasma instabilities. Two numerical models are available to help to accomplish that goal. One of them simulates the propagation of AGWs through a realistic atmosphere. The other one gives predictions about the behavior of the ionosphere under different geophysical conditions. Observational data from equipments for ionosphere and mesosphere remote sensing will be used to compare and validate the theoretical prediction from the two merged models. It will be investigated the effect of AGWs in the plasma, the seeding of instabilities, the process efficiency and probability of occurrence and the relative importance of AGWs seeding in face to another concurrent processes. The opportunity of working with mathematical and numerical modeling of geophysical phenomena starts up a new front of research in the UNIVAP's Physics and Astronomy Laboratory. Because studies in two different research areas will be conducted in parallel during this project, we hope to achieve larger flexibility in that academic research. That will bring about different concepts, break down old paradigms and possibly will lead to new insights.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: