Analysis of the Faraday Rotation Differential Absorption Technique for D-Region Measurements,
UTAH STATE UNIV LOGAN SPACE SCIENCE LAB
Pagination or Media Count:
This report describes the optimization of a radio propagation experiment suitable for studies of the ionosphere D-region utilizing relatively low power, portable ground-based transmitters and simple receivers aboard small sounding rockets. A wave propagation model has been developed that numerically calculates the radio signal that would be received by a dipole antenna aboard a rocket traveling up through the ionospheric D-region. The Faraday rotation and differential absorption experienced by the wave can be used to deduce both electron concentrations and electron-neutral collision rates in the D-region. Faraday rotation and differential absorption were numerically calculated for a number of radio frequencies for three types of extreme conditions such as occur at high magnetic latitudes. Altitude profiles of these quantities provide information to base a selection of 2 or 3 frequencies that will yield maximum information on electron density and collision rate, based on the expected ionospheric conditions. Signal limitations such as atmospheric noise, telemetry error and transmission power were also used to interpret the Faraday rotation and differential absorption curves in order to achieve maximum accuracy.
- Atmospheric Physics
- Radiofrequency Wave Propagation