SATELLITE PLASMA FREQUENCY PROBE FOR HIGH SPATIAL RESOLUTION ELECTRON DENSITY MEASUREMENTS.
UTAH UNIV SALT LAKE CITY UPPER AIR RESEARCH LABS
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The report presents details of the instrumentation for a satellite experiment called a plasma frequency probe designed to provide high resolution measurements of electron density for investigation of F-region irregularities. The plasma frequency probe technique involved determination of electron density and electron temperature by measuring the resonance frequencies of an antenna immersed in the plasma. A low level RF voltage, swept from 19 to 0.1 MHz, is applied to a short whip antenna, and the resonances are determined by the use of a broadband phase detector. The resonance frequencies are measured eight times per second approximately every kilometer, coded for PCM telemetry, and recorded on a 10-hour storage capacity tape recorder. With a playback-to-record speed ratio of 80 to 1, ten hours of recorded data can be replayed on a single satellite pass. The units described were flown on polar-orbiting satellites OV3-5 and OV3-6. Author
- Atmospheric Physics
- Unmanned Spacecraft