• Arctic Propagation Studies at Tropospheric and Ionospheric Modes of Propagation: Final Report

      Owren, Leif; Bates, H. F.; Hunsucker, R. D.; Pope, J. H.; Stark, R. A. (Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, 1959-10)
      Two types of direct scatter from the F region are identified on the records from the oblique incidence sweep-frequency sounder located at College, Alaska. One type of echo appears to come from randomly distributed, field-aligned irregularities in the ionosphere and the other from discrete patches of irregularities. The former is essentially a nighttime phenomenon, while the latter occurs mostly during the day. From these direct scatter modes we can obtain an estimate on the horizontal and the vertical extents of the irregularities. Analysis of the data for the past year has shown that the randomly distributed irregularities commonly occur in regions having horizontal extents of more than 1000 km. The discrete irregularities appear to extend throughout most of the lower half of the F layer. The sequence of events near sunrise and sunset on a magnetically quiet winter day indicates that solar radiation eliminates the random irregularities and accentuates the discrete irregularities. Certain phenomena frequently recorded on high latitude ionograms such as Spread F and triple splitting are probably manifestations of backscatter from ionospheric irregularities. The occurrence of Z-traces in College ionograms is studied statistically and it is concluded that the majority, if not all, of the Z-traces are produced by backscatter of the radiation obliquely incident in the direction of the magnetic zenith. Fixed frequency oblique incidence soundings on frequencies of 12, 18 and 30 mc/s made at College, Alaska show both direct backscatter from the E and F layers and F layer propagated backscatter from the ground. The 12 mc/s soundings made during 1956 have been re-scaled under this contract to extract the available information concerning direct backscatter echoes at ranges below 1000 km. The direct backscatter echo from the F layer (IF echo) has a large diurnal maximum at approximately 1800 AST and a smaller maximum at 0400 AST. IF echoes are observed at ranges from 500 to 1000 km, usually occurring at approximately one-half the range of the 2F echo. The azimuth distribution of the IF echo has a maximum centered on magnetic north. Direct backscatter from the E layer (IE echo) occurs in the range interval of 200 to 800 km with a maximum between 300 and 500 km. The azimuth distribution maximum is centered on magnetic north and the diurnal distribution shows maxima from 0000 to 0200 AST and 0300 to 0400 AST. F layer propagated backscatter from the ground (2F echo) is investigated using both the 12 mc/s 1956 soundings and soundings on 12, 18 and 30 mc/s obtained during 1958. Histograms showing the diurnal distribution of 2F echo occurrence on 12 mc/s for 1956 and 1958 are essentially the same, and illustrate solar effects on the F layer. The behaviour of the regular 2F echo on 12, 18 and 30 mc/s for a typical day in December 1958 is illustrated by a series of PPI photographs. The results obtained during an experimental investigation of the drift motions of auroral ionization are summarized, and certain properties of the luminous aurora established by photo-electric measurements reviewed. Some preliminary observations of solar radio emission at 65 mc/s are reported. A technique of estimating the electron densities of the outer ionosphere by the use of nose whistlers is described. The method involves the numerical integration of the whistler dispersion equation after first assuming a model for the distribution in density. This technique is applied to several whistlers which occurred on 19 March 1959 resulting in estimates of electron densities between four and five earth's radii. The temporal variations in the occurrence of chorus during the IGY at College and Kotzebue, Alaska are studied. The results of an investigation of the effect of latitude on the diurnal maximum of chorus indicate that it is desirable to use a latitude based on the location of the eccentric dipole rather than the usual geomagnetic latitude for the study of chorus. The mathematical theory of longitudinally propagated whistlers in a magnetic dipole field is developed. The usual method for deriving electron density distributions in the exosphere from nose whistler observations by means of assumed distribution functions is criticized and shown to be ambiguous and subjective. A systematic method which avoids subjective assumptions is described. The whistler propagation problem is reduced to an integral equation and a first order principal value solution is obtained by using an approximate form of the equation. Higher order solutions may then be derived by an indicated iterative procedure. Five short-term transpolar transmission tests conducted jointly by the Geophysical Institute and the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment during 1956-59 are described briefly. Some preliminary results of a transarctic propagation study on 12, 18 and 30 mc/s made by the Geophysical Institute in cooperation with the Kiruna Geophysical Observatory, Sweden, are reported. Simultaneous backscatter soundings of the polar region from College, Alaska and recordings c£ the forward propagated signal at Kiruna, Sweden are used to deduce the propagation conditions and modes. The 12 mc/s and 18 mc/s pulse transmissions from College were received at Kiruna over 80% of the time during the month of December 1958. Groundscatter echoes from the polar regions indicated that a three-hop mode occurred 52% of the time on 12 mc/s and 49% of the time on 18 mc/s. Similarly, a two-hop mode occurred 9% of the time on 12 mc/s and 127. of the time on 18 mc/s. A signal was recorded at Kiruna 197. of the time without any corresponding groundscatter being observed from College. This could indicate propagation by a one-hop high ray (Pedersen) mode or by a lateral mode.