Heights of SuperDARN F region echoes estimated from the analysis of HF radio wave propagation

Tomographic estimates of the electron density altitudinal and latitudinal distribution within the Hankasalmi HF radar field of view are used to predict the expected heights of F region coherent echoes by ray tracing and finding ranges of radar wave orthogonality with the Earth magnetic field lines. The predicted ranges of echoes are compared with radar observations concurrent with the tomographic measurements. Only those events are considered for which the electron density distributions were smooth, the band of F region HF echoes existed at ranges 700–1500 km, and there was a reasonable match between the expected and measured slant ranges of echoes. For a data set comprising of 82 events, the typical height of echoes was found to be 275 km.