Rodrigues, Fabiano S.

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Fabiano Rodrigues is an Associate Professor of Physics and part of the faculty of the William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences. He is also the head of the Upper Atmosphere Remote Sensing (UARS) Lab. His research interests include: In 2019 he was made a Fellow of the Eugene McDermott Professorship.

  • Physics of the upper atmosphere
  • Ionospheric electrodynamics and irregularities
  • Development and application of remote sensing techniques for fundamental and applied studies of the upper atmosphere
  • Numerical modeling studies of the thermosphere and ionosphere
  • Studies of ionospheric irregularity effects on signals used by global navigation satellite systems (GNSS).

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
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    On the Genesis of Postmidnight Equatorial Spread F: Results for the American/Peruvian Sector
    (Blackwell Publishing Ltd) Zhan, Weijia; Rodrigues, Fabiano S.; Milla, M. A.; 0000-0003-4887-6223 (Zhan, W); 0000-0002-3555-8165 (Rodrigues, FS); Zhan, Weijia; Rodrigues, Fabiano S.
    Previous studies of the Earth's low-latitude ionosphere using in situ measurements made by sensors on the Communication/Navigation Outage Forecasting System (C/NOFS) satellite showed an unexpected predominance of equatorial spread F (ESF) events in the postmidnight sector during June and December solstice months of the 2008–2009 deep solar minimum. It has been suggested that these events might have been driven by the unusual behavior of the equatorial plasma drifts, which showed an abnormal upward peak around midnight during the same period. We use coherent backscatter radar (Jicamarca Unattended Long-term Investigations of the Ionosphere and Atmosphere - JULIA) measurements made at the Jicamarca Radio Observatory (11.95°S, 76.87°W, ~1° dip lat) in Peru to better understand the origin of the ESF irregularities observed by C/NOFS. The radar observations show that ESF events during December solstice start in the postsunset sector. These ESF events and the conditions for their development are shown to continue through midnight hours. The predominance of postmidnight irregularities on C/NOFS observations during December solstice is caused by the slow vertical development of the ESF structures, which only reach the topside near midnight in most cases. On June solstice, however, JULIA observations show that ESF started predominately in the midnight to postmidnight sector. Collocated digisonde observations provide additional insight on F-region conditions leading to these ESF events. ©2018. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
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    June Solstice Equatorial Spread F in the American Sector: A Numerical Assessment of Linear Stability Aided by Incoherent Scatter Radar Measurements
    (Amer Geophysical Union) Zhan, Weijia; Rodrigues, Fabiano S.; 0000-0003-4887-6223 (Zahn, W); 0000-0002-3555-8165 (Rodrigues, FS); Zhan, Weijia; Rodrigues, Fabiano S.
    Previous studies have suggested that weakening downward plasma drifts can produce favorable conditions for the ionospheric Generalized Rayleigh-Taylor (GRT) instability and explain the occurrence of postmidnight equatorial spread F (ESF). We evaluated this hypothesis using numerical simulations aided by measurements and attempted to explain ESF events observed in the American sector during June solstice, low solar flux conditions. We analyzed plasma drifts and ESF measurements made by the incoherent scatter radar of the Jicamarca Radio Observatory (11.95⁰ S, 76.87⁰ W, ~ 1⁰ dip). We found adequate measurements during a prototypical, quiet time event on 4-5 June 2008 when the downward drifts weakened and a fully developed ESF appeared. The measured drifts were used as input for the SAMI2 model. SAMI2 reproduced an "apparent" uplift of the ionosphere based on h'F measurements that was consistent with expectations and observations. SAMI2 also provided parameters for estimation of the flux tube linear growth rates of GRT instability associated with the weakening drift event. We found that the weakening drifts did produce unstable conditions with positive growth rates. The growth rates, however, were slower than those obtained for typical, premidnight ESF events and those obtained for similar drift conditions in other longitude sectors. We show, however, that departures in the wind pattern, from climatological model predictions, can produce favorable conditions for instability development. Following the hypothesis of Huba and Krall (2013) and using SAMI2 simulations, we show that equatorward winds, when combined with weakening drifts, could have contributed to the unstable conditions responsible for the postmidnight ESF events.
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    Radar and Satellite Investigations of Equatorial Evening Vertical Drifts and Spread F
    (Copernicus Gesellschaft Mbh, 2015-11-11) Smith, J. M.; Rodrigues, Fabiano S.; de Paula, E. R.; Smith, J. M.; Rodrigues, Fabiano S.
    We analyzed pre-midnight equatorial F region observations made by the 30 MHz coherent backscatter radar of Sao Luis, Brazil between August 2010 and February 2012. These measurements were processed, and used to create monthly maps of the echo occurrence as a function of local time and height. The maps show the inter-annual variability associated with equatorial spread F (ESF) occurrence in the Brazilian longitude sector. We also constructed monthly curves of the evening vertical drifts, for the Brazilian sector, using measurements by the ion velocity meter (IVM) on-board the C/NOFS satellite. The IVM evening drifts show a good overall agreement with the Scherliess and Fejer (1999) empirical model. Measured and model drifts show the development of the pre-reversal enhancement (PRE) of the vertical plasma drifts during ESF season. Using joint radar and satellite measurements, we found that evening (18: 00-18: 30 LT) mean non-negative drifts provide a necessary but not sufficient condition for the occurrence of topside ESF echoes. Evening downward (negative) drifts preceded the absence of topside ESF irregularities.
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    Observations of the Generation of Eastward Equatorial Electric Fields near Dawn
    (Copernicus Gesellschaft Mbh, 2014-09-19) Kelley, M. C.; Rodrigues, Fabiano S.; Pfaff, R. F.; Klenzing, J.; Kelley, M. C.; Rodrigues, Fabiano S.
    We report and discuss interesting observations of the variability of electric fields and ionospheric densities near sunrise in the equatorial ionosphere made by instruments onboard the Communications/Navigation Outage Forecasting System (C/NOFS) satellite over six consecutive orbits. Electric field measurements were made by the Vector Electric Field Instrument (VEFI), and ionospheric plasma densities were measured by Planar Langmuir Probe (PLP). The data were obtained on 17 June 2008, a period of solar minimum conditions. Deep depletions in the equatorial plasma density were observed just before sunrise on three orbits, for which one of these depletions was accompanied by a very large eastward electric field associated with the density depletion, as previously described by de La Beaujardiere et al. (2009), Su et al. (2009) and Burke et al. (2009). The origin of this large eastward field (positive upward/meridional drift), which occurred when that component of the field is usually small and westward, is thought to be due to a large-scale Rayleigh-Taylor process. On three subsequent orbits, however, a distinctly different, second type of relationship between the electric field and plasma density near dawn was observed. Enhancements of the eastward electric field were also detected, one of them peaking around 3 mV m⁻¹, but they were found to the east (later local time) of pre-dawn density perturbations. These observations represent sunrise enhancements of vertical drifts accompanied by eastward drifts such as those observed by the San Marco satellite (Aggson et al., 1995). Like the San Marco measurements, the enhancements occurred during winter solstice and low solar flux conditions in the Pacific longitude sector. While the evening equatorial ionosphere is believed to present the most dramatic examples of variability, our observations exemplify that the dawn sector can be highly variable as well.

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