Geophysical Analysis of Coherent Satellite Scintillation Data.
PHYSICAL DYNAMICS INC BELLEVUE WA
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In May of 1976, Air Force Satellite P76-5 was launched with the Defense Nuclear Agencys Wideband beacon, DNA-002, as its sole payload. Several researchers have employed the resulting data in studies of ionospheric structure and its effect on transionospheric radio communications. In the present work, recordings of amplitude and phase scintillation imposed on Widebands VHF and UHF signals by the ionosphere have been used to study medium-scale structures in the auroral-zone F layer. Results include quantitative identification of a very close relationship between scintillation and solargeomagnetic activity, together with lack of a seasonal variation in scintillation activity in the Alaskan sector. A surprisingly high correlation 90 was found between monthly meanss of phase-scintillation index, on the one hand, and sunspot number and 10- cm solar radio flux, on the other. The high-latitude scintillation boundary was found to be very similar to the soft-electron precipitation boundary, including similarity in expansion rates with increasing magnetic activity. Interestingly, it is systematically shifted poleward of the precipitation boundary on the day side of the earth and equatorward on the night side. Taken together, the results of this research disclose a rather direct relationship between scintillation and soft-electron precipitation, with plasma convection likely playing an important role in generation of the scintillation-producing irregularities.
- Atmospheric Physics
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics
- Radiofrequency Wave Propagation