Irregularities in Ionospheric Plasma Clouds: Their Evolution and Effect on Radio Communication
SRI INTERNATIONAL ARLINGTON VA
Pagination or Media Count:
Both satellite radio communications, which travel through the Earths ionosphere, and high frequency HF sky wave circuits, which use the ionosphere as a refracting medium, can be strongly affected by radio wave scintillation. High altitude nuclear explosions cause scintillation by strongly disturbing the ionosphere and thus severely degrade satellite radio communications over a large region. Since further atmospheric nuclear tests are banned, a thorough understanding of the physics involved in both the disturbed ionosphere and its interaction with radio waves is necessary in order to design radio communications systems which will operate satisfactorily in a nuclear environment. During the 1980 JASON Summer Study we addressed some aspects of the evolution of ionospheric irregularities following a high altitude nuclear explosion--the radio wave propagation theory being apparently well understood for the satellite link case. In particular, we have worked on irregularity evolution at late times approx. hours after an explosion and the impact of early time irregularity structure on late time evolution. We also raise the question of scintillation effects on HF sky wave communications.
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics
- Radiofrequency Wave Propagation