Remote sensing of the ignorosphere: Need for a complete earth-ionosphere radio wave propagation model
01 Jan 2018-Vol. 53, pp 527-543
TL;DR: In this article, a short review on retrieval mechanism of the D-region ionospheric plasma using sub-ionospheric VLF/LF data is presented, where the authors discuss importance of VLFs/LFs observation techniques and significant earth-ionosphere propagation models to diagnose electron-ion distribution in the lower ionosphere.
Abstract: We present a short review on retrieval mechanism of the D-region ionospheric plasma using sub-ionospheric VLF/LF data. First, we discuss importance of VLF/LF observation techniques and significant earth-ionosphere propagation models to diagnose electron-ion distribution in the lower ionosphere. Then we discuss about VLF/LF perturbations due to different geophysical phenomena and corresponding numerical simulations applied to retrieve the state of the D-region ionosphere.
01 Jul 2018
TL;DR: In this paper, the effects of the total solar eclipse on the VLF signal were investigated using the knowledge of the lower ionospheric chemical and physical properties, which is not well studied till date.
Abstract: The variation in the solar Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) radiation flux by any measure is the most dominant natural source to produce perturbations or modulations in the ionospheric chemical and plasma properties. A solar eclipse, though a very rare phenomenon, is similarly bound to produce a significant short time effect on the local ionospheric properties. The influence of the ionizing solar flux reduction during a solar eclipse on the lower ionosphere or, more precisely, the D-region, can be studied with the observation of Very Low Frequency (VLF) radio wave signal modulation. The interpretation of such an effect on VLF signals requires a knowledge of the D-region ion chemistry, which is not well studied till date. Dominant parameters which govern the ion chemistry, such as the recombination coefficients, are poorly known. The occurrence of events such as a solar eclipse provides us with an excellent opportunity to investigate the accuracy of our knowledge of the chemical condition in this part of Earth’s atmosphere and the properties which control the ionospheric stability under such disturbances. In this paper, using existing knowledge of the lower ionospheric chemical and physical properties we carry out an interpretation of the effects obtained during the total solar eclipse of 22 of July 2009 on the VLF signal. Data obtained from a week long campaign conducted by the Indian Centre for Space Physics (ICSP) over the Indian subcontinent has been used for this purpose. Both positive and negative amplitude changes during the eclipse were observed along various receiver locations. In this paper, data for a propagation path between a Indian Navy VLF transmitter named VTX3 and a pair of receivers in India are used. We start from the observed solar flux during the eclipse and calculate the ionization during the whole time span over most of the influenced region in a range of height. We incorporate a D-region ion-chemistry model to find the equilibrium ion density over the region and employ the LWPC code to find the VLF signal amplitude. To tackle the uncertainty in the values of the recombination coefficients we explore a range of values in the chemical evolution model. We achieve two goals by this exercise: First, we have been able to reproduce the trends, if not the exact signal variation, of the VLF signal modulations during a solar eclipse at two different receiving stations with sufficient accuracy purely from theoretical modeling, and second our knowledge of some of the D-region ion-chemistry parameters is now improved.
TL;DR: In this article, the D-region ionospheric disturbances due to the tropical cyclone Fani over the Indian Ocean have been analyzed using Very Low Frequency (VLF) radio communication signals from three transmitters (VTX, NWC and JJI) received at two low latitude stations (Kolkata-CUB and Cooch Behar-CHB).
Abstract: The D-region ionospheric disturbances due to the tropical cyclone Fani over the Indian Ocean have been analysed using Very Low Frequency (VLF) radio communication signals from three transmitters (VTX, NWC and JJI) received at two low latitude stations (Kolkata-CUB and Cooch Behar-CHB). The cyclone Fani formed from a depression on 26th April, 2019 over the Bay of Bengal (Northeastern part of the Indian Ocean) and turned into an extremely severe cyclone with maximum 1-minute sustained winds of 250 km/h on 2 May, 2019 which made landfall on 3 May, 2019. Out of six propagation paths, five propagation paths, except the JJI-CHB which was far away from the cyclone track, showed strong perturbations beyond 3 σ level compared to unperturbed signals. Consistent good correlations of VLF signal perturbations with the wind speed and cyclone pressure have been seen for both the receiving stations. Computations of radio signal perturbations at CUB and CHB using the Long Wave Propagation Capability (LWPC) code revealed a Gaussian perturbation in the D-region ionosphere. Analysis of atmospheric temperature at different layers from the NASA’s TIMED satellite revealed a cooling effect near the tropopause and warming effects near the stratopause and upper mesosphere regions on 3 May, 2019. This study shows that the cyclone Fani perturbed the whole atmosphere, from troposphere to ionosphere and the VLF waves responded to the disturbances in the conductivity profiles of the lower ionosphere.
01 Dec 2006
TL;DR: In this article, a new class of early/fast VLF events with recoveries of up to 20 min was introduced, much longer than typical Early/fast and Lightning-induced Electron Precipitation (LEP) events which recover to pre-event levels in ≲200 s.
Abstract:  We introduce a new class of Early/fast VLF events with recoveries of up to 20 min, much longer than typical Early/fast and Lightning-induced Electron Precipitation (LEP) events which recover to pre-event levels in ≲200 s. Three distinct types of long recovery events are observed, each exhibiting different characteristics, with the observed features of at least some of the event types consistent with the possibility of persistent ionization at altitudes below 60 km as put forth by Lehtinen and Inan (2007).
TL;DR: In this article, the authors reported disturbance in the mid-latitude sub-ionospheric VLF radio signals due to the super geomagnetic storm which began on 17 March 2015.
Abstract: This paper reports disturbance in the mid-latitude sub-ionospheric VLF radio signals due to the super geomagnetic storm which began on 17 March 2015. Narrow-band signals from the NAA transmitter are studied for the storm period recorded at eight mid-latitude receiving stations spread over the Europe and USA. Daytime signals amplitude at all places showed a disturbing pattern after 17 March. Fluctuation in the nighttime signals significantly increased in the succeeding nights. As a primary effect of the storm, the entire diurnal signals in the transoceanic west to east long propagation paths enhanced by 3–5 dB, which gradually decreased over the period of ~ 10 days following the storm recovery. A different behavior was observed in the east to west short propagation paths over the landmass, where during the peak storm the daily variations of the VLF amplitude reduced to 20–25% of a normal day and, after ~ 10 days the signals returned to the pre-storm condition. Modeling of the radio waves in the west to east paths shows that the D-region electron density was increased by ~ 8-fold and varied up to 10 days. Electron density variations in the D-region closely follows the variations of precipitated electron flux as observed by the POES satellite over the region. The elevated electron density in the D-region ionosphere caused by the extension of the auroral precipitation to the mid-latitudes along with interference among the various waveguide modes in the earth-ionosphere waveguide during the storm is suggested for the cause of observed VLF signals behaviors.
TL;DR: In this article, very low and low radio frequency (VLF/LF) propagation responds sensitively to the electron density distribution in the lower ionosphere (upper mesosphere), whereas propagation paths crossing subpolar and polar regions are frequently affected by forcing from above by particle precipitations, mid and lowlatitude paths let forcing from below be more prominent.
Abstract: . Very low and low radio frequency (VLF/LF) propagation responds sensitively to the electron density distribution in the lower ionosphere (upper mesosphere). Whereas propagation paths crossing subpolar and polar regions are frequently affected by forcing from above by particle precipitations, mid- and lowlatitude paths let forcing from below be more prominent. Our observations (2009–2011) show, that the low frequency propagation conditions along the midlatitude path from Sicily to Germany (52° N 8° E) using the NSY 45.9 kHz transmitter (37° N 14° E) prove to be a good proxy of mesosphere planetary wave activity along the propagation path. High absorption events with VLF/LF propagation correlate to the well known winter time D-layer anomaly observed with high frequency (HF) radio waves. VLF/LF propagation calculations are presented which show that the radio signal amplitude variations can be modeled by planetary wave modulated collison frequency and electron density profiles. The other way around wave pressure amplitudes can be inferred from the VLF/LF data.
TL;DR: In this article, a ground-based Very Low Frequency (VLF) radio receiver of Indian Centre for Space Physics located at Khukurdaha ( 22 ° 27 ′ N, 87 ° 45 ′ E ) monitored the VLF signal at 19.8 kHz from the NWC station during a partial solar eclipse (maximum obscuration 75%) which took place on January 15, 2010.
Abstract: A ground based Very Low Frequency (VLF) radio receiver of Indian Centre for Space Physics located at Khukurdaha ( 22 ° 27 ′ N , 87 ° 45 ′ E ) monitored the VLF signal at 19.8 kHz from the NWC station during a partial solar eclipse (maximum obscuration 75%) which took place on January 15, 2010. The receiver and the transmitter were on two opposite sides of the annular eclipse belt. During the same period, a solar flare also occurred and it was partly blocked by the lunar disk. Thus the resultant signal was perturbed both by the eclipse and by the flare. The deviation of the signal from the normal value was obtained by subtracting from the average diurnal signal on days bracketing the eclipse. The deviation was analysed. We compare the data from GOES-14, HINODE and RHESSI satellites during the event. We got a clear depression in the data during the period of the partial eclipse. Most interestingly, there was also a flaring activity in the sun which reached its peak (C-type) just after the time when the eclipse was near maximum. By superposing the lunar disk on the image obtained by HINODE mission, we pin-point the time frame of blocking hard and soft X-rays. We extract the time variation of the electron density profile in the D-region of the ionosphere due to occulted solar flare from the combined effect of the eclipse and the flare. We also compare the results with a normal solar flare.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present the results of their campaign and give an interpretation of the results using the Long Wavelength Propagation Capability (LWPC) code in a perturbed waveguide both for the easterly and westerly propagation paths.
Abstract: A Total Solar Eclipse (TSE) provides us with an exciting opportunity to study the VLF propagation effects under a controlled experimental condition where the extreme ultraviolet and the X-rays from the sun are totally blocked by the moon. During the total eclipse of July 22nd, 2009, the Indian Centre for Space Physics conducted a VLF campaign to obtain the signal from a dozen of places in the Indian sub-continent. Six of these locations gave very good and noise-free data. In some of these data, the signal amplitude is found to be higher than that at non-eclipse condition, while in some other places, it is lower. We present the results of our campaign and give an interpretation of the results using the Long Wavelength Propagation Capability (LWPC) code in a perturbed waveguide both for the easterly and westerly propagation paths.
TL;DR: In this article, a study of mesosphere and low thermosphere influence on ionospheric disturbances during 2009 major sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) event is presented.
Abstract: This paper presents a study of mesosphere and low thermosphere influence on ionospheric disturbances during 2009 major sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) event. This period was characterized by extremely low solar and geomagnetic activity. The study was performed using two first principal models: thermosphere-ionosphere-mesosphere electrodynamics general circulation model (TIME-GCM) and global self-consistent model of thermosphere, ionosphere, and protonosphere (GSM TIP). The stratospheric anomalies during SSW event were modeled by specifying the temperature and density perturbations at the lower boundary of the TIME-GCM (30 km altitude) according to data from European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. Then TIME-GCM output at 80 km was used as lower boundary conditions for driving GSM TIP model runs. We compare models' results with ground-based ionospheric data at low latitudes obtained by GPS receivers in the American longitudinal sector. GSM TIP simulation predicts the occurrence of the quasi-wave vertical structure in neutral temperature disturbances at 80–200 km altitude, and the positive and negative disturbances in total electron content at low latitude during the 2009 SSW event. According to our model results the formation mechanisms of the low-latitude ionospheric response are the disturbances in the n(O)/n(N2) ratio and thermospheric wind. The change in zonal electric field is key mechanism driving the ionospheric response at low latitudes, but our model results do not completely reproduce the variability in zonal electric fields (vertical plasma drift) at low latitudes.
TL;DR: In this article, the authors report their observations of ionospheric disturbances made by incident Gamma Rays from the Soft Gamma Repeater SGR J1550-5418 which took place on 22nd of January, 2009.
Abstract: We wish to report our observations of ionospheric disturbances made by incident Gamma Rays from the Soft Gamma Repeater SGR J1550-5418 which took place on 22nd of January, 2009. The observations were made by a loop antenna and a Gyrator-II type receiver which was tuned to the 500KW VTX station transmitting Very Low Frequency (VLF) signal at 18.2 kHz. We looked for signatures of sudden ionospheric disturbances (SID) which commenced within seconds of the observations reported by various satellites. We used Long Wave Propagation Capability code to compute the changes in the ionospheric parameters due to the repeated passage of the high energy radiation. We detected seventy six events in our VLF detector which appear to be associated with the SGR J1550-5418. We found that 28 of them are within three seconds of the satellite observations and 38 (fifty percent) of them are within seven seconds of the satellite observations. We also compute the evolution of the electron number density of the ionosphere due to this events and found that the ionosphere was becoming increasingly charged due to repeated bombardment of the high energy radiations. The lower ionospheric height went down significantly. We found convincing evidence that the source SGR J1550-5418 repeatedly caused ionospheric disturbances on the 22nd of January, 2009. The electron number density went up significantly at all the heights. The height of the lower ionosphere went down by about 15 km due to these repeated events.
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01 Jan 1975