AN INVESTIGATION OF HIGH ENERGY RADIO PROPAGATION IN THE ATMOSPHERE.
CORNELL AERONAUTICAL LAB INC BUFFALO N Y
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The results of rf breakdown measurements at 106 Mcs in a large waveguide are reported. Breakdown measurements for air, oxygen and nitrogen were made as a function of pressure 10-1000 microns, pulse length and pulse repetition frequency. The data indicate that when diffusion losses are minimized, a value of 30 volts per com-mmHg is obtained for the breakdown threshold over a pressure range from 200 - 1000 microns. The principle that ion cyclotron resonance in weakly ionized gases can be detected, and that the collision cross-section pertinent to the reaction can be determined from the resonance line width is proved. The effect of known processes of electron production and loss upon the steady-state electron concentration and upon atmospheric breakdown is discussed. Breakdown is described as a sudden increase in electron concentration occurring at a specific field, upon negligible increase of field from this value. Author