The Sharjah-Stanford AWESOME VLF Workshop Sharjah, UAE, Feb 22-24, 2010.

ALTITUDE PROFILES OF ELECTRON DENSITY DURING LEP EVENTS FROM VLF MONITORING OF THE LOWER IONOSPHERE
Desanka Šulić1 and Vladimir Srećković2
1Institute

of Physics, Belgrade, Serbia, dsulic@phy.bg.ac.yu, 2Institute of Physics, Belgrade, Serbia, vlada@phy.bg.ac.yu

INTRODUCTION
• The use of very low frequency (VLF) transmissions propagating inside the waveguide formed by the Earth and the lower ionosphere is a well developed technique for probing conditions within the waveguide. • Measurements of the amplitude and/or phase of VLF transmissions have provided information on the variation of the D-region, both spatially and temporally

Nighttime variations in subionospheric propagation

• Nighttime propagation at VLF frequencies is less stable and predictable than for daytime paths, although sufficient for communications purposes. • The difference in stability reflects short-term variation in the nighttime D-region and the lack of a dominant energy source (c.f. the Sun in daytime). • Reflection heights occur at about 80–90 km altitude.

Perturbations on VLF transmissions
Lightning discharges indirectly produce localized ionospheric disturbances through lightning induced bursts of precipitation of energetic radiation belt electrons.

Adopted from Lanben et al., 2001

DESCRIPTION OF EXPERIMENT
AWESOME SYSTEM was installed at the Institute of Physics Belgrade (44.50N 20.23E) in June 2008.
NRK

NRK DHO GQD

Iceland Germany UK USA France
Italy

37.50 kHz 23.40 kHz 22.10 kHz 24.00 kHz 18.30 kHz 20.27 kHz 45.90 kHz 19.80 kHz

NAA GQD

DHO

NAA HWU

HWU

ICV
Belgrade

NSC
NWC

Italy Australia

ICV NSC

NWC

•The transmitter–receiver distance ranges from 950 to 6600 km.

First step: examination for VLF signatures of LEP events

Perturbation magnitude Perturbation of phase Onset delay Event duration

∆A = -2 [dB] ∆φ = − 160 ∆t = 1.3 [s] td = 0.5 [s]

Storm over Europe

Second step: computer modeling
• The ionospheric electron density and collision frequency profiles are given by a standard nighttime ionospheric model. • The collision frequency profile is given by: ν (h) = 1.86 ⋅1011 ⋅ e-0.15⋅h [s -1 ] • The unperturbed electron density profile is given by: β (h-h' ) N e (h) = ν (h) ⋅ 78.57 ⋅ e [m -3 ] • The model of the ionosphere used in LWPC2.1 produces an exponential increase in conductivity with height by a slope, β, in km-1 and a reference height, h’, in km.

Second step: computer modeling
Computer modeling is purposed to interrupt quantitatively VLF amplitude and phase changes in terms of approximate location and size of the associated ionospheric perturbations along GCP. We model propagation condition in that way to obtain: ∆Anum and ∆fnum to be very close with recorded values of ∆Arec and ∆frec.

Third step: Gaussian function for vertical distribution of electron enhancement
• Computer modeling yields information about electron density at reflection heights for ambient and perturbed ionospheric D region as a pointer for further modeling. • The altitude dependence of the electron density perturbation is assumed to be Gaussian, centered at h0. with a variance σ.
δ N e = δ N e 0 /EXP[(h-h 0 )2 / σ 2 ]

Event: 12 May 2009
• During night 11-12 May 2009, in duration of six hours, LEP events were recorded on VLF paths.
90 80

DHO/23.4 kHz - Belgrade 12. May 2009, 00:37:00 UT h,=86.8 km -1 β =0.47 km

Altitude [km]

90

70

Profile of electron density for ambiental plasma 12 May 2009, 00:37:00

60

80

Altitude [km]

50

70
40

h,= 87 km -1 β=0.43 km 7 -3 ne=3.14E [m ]
10000 100000 1000000 1E7 1E8 1E9

1000
60

Electron density [m ]

-3

GQD/22.1 - Belgrade, 12 May 2009, 00:37:00
50
90

Station DHO 23.4 kHz GQD 22.1 kHz

DArec [dB] +1.65 +1

Dfrec [0] -4.6 -6.2

DAnum [dB] +1.63 +1.1

Dfnum [0] -1.72 -7.3

40

80

1000

10000

100000

1000000

1E7
-3

1E8

Altitude [km]

h,= 86.7 km 1E9 -1 β=0.44 km

70

Electron density [m ]

60

50

40

1000

10000

100000

1000000

1E7
-3

1E8

1E9

Electron density [m ]

Event: 12 May 2009
DHO/23.4 kHz –Belgrade 1. 2.
54

VLF signal propagates from transmitter to receiver through disturbed D region Reflection height moved from 87 km to 86.8 km The enhancement of electron density at 86.8 km is 2.7·106 [m-3]

GQD

DHO

52

3.
BELGRADE
-5 0 5 10 15 20

50

48

46

44

DHO: distance between transmitter - receiver is 1326 km GQD: distance between transmitter - receiver is 1948 km

GQD/22.1 kHz –Belgrade 1. VLF signal propagates 600 km from transmitter to receiver through disturbed D– region 2. Reflection height moved from 87 km to 86.7 km 3. The enhancement of electron density at 86.7 km is 4·106 [m-3]

Summary
• VLF data were recorded in 2008 and 2009. • LEP events were typically recorded from 18:00 to 04:00UT when the great circle paths between transmitter and receiver are partially or wholly in the nighttime sector. • The recorded signals from transmitters in Europe are good base for studying localized ionization enhancements in the nighttime D region • By comparing simulated effects of LEP produced ionospheric disturbances on VLF signal with experimental data we were able to access the ionospheric electron density profiles most likely to have been in effect during the observed events.

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