Date of Award:

5-2013

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Edmund A. Spencer

Abstract

We investigate the possibility of measuring and using the phase delay of radio frequency transmissions in the amateur satellite band as a method to determine the distribution of currents systems in the ionosphere. The amateur satellite transmissions at 7MHz, 14M Hz, and 144M Hz are low enough for Faraday rotation to cause a significant phase delay on the propagating signals in addition to the phase delay produced by the total electron content (TEC) in the ionosphere. The ionosphere in the E and F regions is modeled as an equivalent thin planar shell of collision free cold plasma 100 km in thickness located in an altitude range of 100 � 200 km. The earth's magnetic field is superposed with a weaker magnetic field due to a narrow Gaussian strip of current representing an ionospheric electrojet. The prole of the current system is obtained by numerically optimizing the Appleton-Hartree dispersion relation for rays of simulated radio frequency (RF) signals that propagate through the ionosphere shell. The optimization procedure is performed with a differential evolution algorithm. From the optimization procedure, we obtain the ionosphere total electron content (TEC) and the strength, prole, and orientation of the ionospheric current system.

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