Experiments involving artificial excitation of electromagnetic waves and plasma structures in the near-earth apace environment with powerful HF transmitters have been conducted for more than 50 years. These experiments revealed a great number of interesting and important phenomena related to the redistribution of electromagnetic power, mass, density and momentum between the ionosphere and the magnetosphere. These phenomena include generation of large amplitude ULF, VLF and ELF waves, optical emissions, artificial ionization layers, density irregularities and plasma ducts. Quantitative understanding of these phenomena can be achieved only by combining observations from the ground sensors and satellites with simulations of sophisticated numerical models considering the magnetosphere and the ionosphere as the one whole, highly integrated and very complex system.
To achieve such a quantitative understanding of the basic physics of electromagnetic waves and plasma in the coupled magnetosphere-ionosphere system we propose to form a team of ten international experts with different background, experience and expertise. The team will have two closely connected goals. The first goal is make a comprehensive review of active experiments conducted during the last decade at different facilities as well as the theoretical concepts used to explain these results. This review will be published in the Space Science Review or Review of Geophysics. The second goal is to develop quantitate, detailed plans and conduct several active experiments which will address the unsolved problems within each of the five major research questions identified in this proposal. The main idea here is to develop plans which will predict the outcome from the experiments based on the parameters of the heater and on the geomagnetic conditions during the experiment. The ultimate goal of our project is to provide a solid understanding of the basic physics of the MI interactions related to the heating of the ionosphere with powerful HF waves. To prove that this goal is achieved we first will make the quantitative predictions of the expected results and then verify these predictions with the experiments.