Modeling and Validating a SuperDARN Radar's Poynting Flux Profile

G. W. Perry, K. D. Ruzic, K. Sterne, A. D. Howarth, A. W. Yau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We have developed a model that simulates the Poynting flux profile of the Saskatoon Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) radar at ionospheric altitudes. The model uses ray tracing software to project the radar system's vacuum Poynting flux profile through the ionosphere, taking into account the influence of the ionospheric medium on the propagation characteristics of the high frequency radio waves. Measurements of the radar's transmissions by the Radio Receiver Instrument (RRI) in low-Earth orbit are used to validate the model during five experiments which occurred between 4 and 8 August 2017. Comparisons between simulated and measured RRI antenna voltages show good agreement, although there are clear instances in which the model underperforms. Nevertheless, the model demonstrates its utility as a tool for interpreting RRI measurements of SuperDARN radars. The model also helps address a lack of knowledge of a SuperDARN radar's Poynting flux profile at ionospheric altitudes. In particular, we assess the assumption that SuperDARN's scattering volume lies along the great-circle path of the transmitting beam's bearing. Comparisons between the model and RRI's measurements show that this assumption is reasonable for the five experiments investigated in this work. The model presents a new way of carrying out SuperDARN and high frequency radio science investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2021RS007323
JournalRadio Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Poynting flux
  • SuperDARN
  • e-POP
  • high frequency radar
  • remote sensing
  • space weather


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