Studies of small-scale plasma inhomogeneities in the cusp ionosphere using sounding rocket data
Microprocesses associated with plasma inhomogeneities are studied on the basis of data from the Investigation of Cusp Irregularities (ICI-3) sounding rocket. The ICI-3 rocket is devoted to investigating a reverse flow event in the cusp F region ionosphere. By numerical stability analysis, it is demonstrated that inhomogeneous-energy-density-driven (IEDD) instability can be a mechanism for the excitation of small-scale plasma inhomogeneities. The Local Intermittency Measure (LIM) method also applied the rocket data to analyze irregular structures of the electric field during rocket flight in the cusp. A qualitative agreement between high values of the growth rates of the IEDD instability and the regions with enhanced LIM is observed. This suggests that IEDD instability is connected to turbulent non-Gaussian processes. Published by AIP Publishing.