Bispectral analysis has been applied to density irregularities at frequencies 5-30 Hz observed with a sounding rocket launched from Peru in March 1983. Unlike the power spectrum, the bispectrum contains statistical information about the phase relations between the Fourier components which make up the waveform. In the case of spread F data from 475 km the 5-30 Hz portion of the spectrum displays overall enhanced bicoherence relative to that of the background instrumental noise and to that expected due to statistical considerations, implying that the observed f-2.5 power law spectrum has a significant non-Gaussian component. This is consistent with previous qualitative analyses. The bicoherence has also been calculated for simulated equatorial spread F density irregularities in approximately the same wavelength regime, and the resulting bispectrum has some features in common with that of the rocket data. The implications of this analysis for equatorial spread F are discussed, and some future investigations are suggested.
[Publications | Home]