Thunderstorm-induced enhancements in the E-region ionosphere
- The purpose of this study is to understand the coupling between convective phenomena in the lower atmosphere and the Sporadic-E anomaly observed in the E-region of the ionosphere. The ionosphere is a region of partially ionized air in the upper atmosphere created by solar radiation. It has often been observed that Sporadic-E, an anomalous ionization enhancement occurring in the E-region of the ionosphere, often disrupts satellite-earth communications at the MF, HF and even in the VHF frequency bands and that this anomaly is thought to be fairly prevalent during thunderstorm activity. However, very little is known about the mechanisms behind Sporadic-E formation, though multiple theories that attempt to explain the physics behind this phenomenon are topics of ongoing research. This study attempts to explore the theory of indirect enhancement of the E-region ionosphere through the launching of atmospheric gravity waves (AGWs) and the subsequent formation of traveling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs) through two observational experiments. In the first experiment, two dual-band GPS receivers were used to measure fluctuations in total electron content during thunderstorms. This experiment was aimed at providing insights into whether or not thunderstorms were always associated with AGWs and TIDs. As part of the second experiment, a stellar radio source was observed within a range of output radio frequencies from the Long Wavelength Array (LWA) at Datil, NM, during both stormy and fair weather days. Preferential blockage of the lower stellar frequencies could then be used to suggest that the E-region has been enhanced to 'cutoff' the low frequency stellar radiation. Although the experiments themselves were conducted successfully on multiple occasions, there is insufficient data for conclusions regarding the correlation between thunderstorms and the formation of Sporadic-E. Nonetheless, some encouraging conclusions and recommendations are discussed and the study is hoped to serve as a stepping stone for future research.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Stanford University, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
|Close, Sigrid, 1971-
|Close, Sigrid, 1971-
|Statement of responsibility
|Submitted to the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
|Thesis (Engineering)--Stanford University, 2014.
- © 2014 by Rajaram Sivasankaran
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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