• Indices of Upper Atmospheric Disturbance Phenomena in Auroral Zone

      Elvey, C. T.; Sugiura, M. (Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, 1958-12)
      The earlier orbits and ephemerides for the Soviet satellites were not sufficiently accurate to be very useful in making observations in Alaska. Extrapolations from our own observations gave better predictions. This merely pointed out the fact that rough observations of meridian transits at high latitudes will give better values of the inclination of the orbit than precision observations at low latitudes. Hence, it was decided to observe visually the meridian transits estimating the altitude by noting the position with respect to the stars or using crude alidade measurements. The times of the earlier observations were observed on a watch or clock and the clock correction obtained from WWV. Later the times were determined with the aid of stop watches, taking time intervals from WWV signals. This rather meager program of optical observations of the Soviet satellites was undertaken to give supplementary data for use of the radio observations, and particularly to assist in the prediction of position of the satellite so that the 61-foot radar of Stanford Research Institute could be set accurately enough to observe it (the beam width at the half-power points is about 3°). This report contains primarily the visual observations made at the Geophysical Institute by various members of the staff, and a series of observations by Olaf Halverson at Nome, Alaska. In addition there is a short discussion of the geometry of the trajectory, the illumination of a circumpolar satellite, and a note on the evaluation of Brouwer's moment factors.
    • Radio wave propagation in the arctic

      Little, C.G.; Dyce, R.B.; Hessler, V. P.; Leonard, R. S.; Owren, L.; Roof, R. B.; Sugiura, M.; Swenson, G. W. Jr (Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, 1956)
      The main body of this report is divided into eight sections, corresponding to the eight aspects of Arctic radio wave propagation listed in Section I, Purposes of the Contract, In cases where the work has already been fully described in Interim Scientific Report No. 1 (AFCRC-TN- 55-579, here in after referred to as R(l)), brief summaries only are given. The progress in these eight fields is summarized as follows: Task No. 1 Sweep-Frequency Ionospheric Backscatter Because of lack of equipment, no progress was made on this task. Task No. 2 Auroral and Meteor Echoes Three frequencies were used in this work: (a) At 50 me A low“power9 50 me radar equipments specially designed and built for auroral radar research, was operated with a steerable antenna to monitor both auroral and meteor activity,, The results showed that the diurnal distribution of meteor activity is similar at College to that observed elsewhere, and that the meteor echo rates observed on this equipment are not affected by the presence of aurora. (b) At 106 me The 106 me SCR 270 DA radar was used for two main experiments, as described in R(l). First, the aspect sensitivity of the auroral echoes was investigated. The results showed clearly that the auroral ionization giving rise to VHF auroral radar echoes is aligned along the earth's magnetic lines of force3 in that the auroral radar echoes are strongest when the radio waves are traveling perpendicularly to the magnetic lines of force through the aurora. Second, the relationship between visual and radar aurora was investigated; this work showed that the auroral radar echoes are often closely associated in range and azimuth with visual aurora, although the strength of the echoes is not proportional to the visual brightness of the auroral forms„ (c) At 210 me The 210 me SA-2 radar was installed in a trailer and tested without modification, It was then modified by the building of a steerable 16-Yagi array, by increasing the pulse length, and by reducing the receiver bandwidth„ Simultaneous operation of the 50 me and the improved 210 me equipment resulted in the detection of many auroral echoes at the lower frequency; no auroral (or meteor) echoes were obtained on the 210 me equipment during the contract period although good mountain * echoes were obtained at ranges up to 250 km„ Task No„ 3 Investigation of Microwave Link As explained in R(l), the experimental observations carried out on this link showed the absence of significant tropospheric refraction effects, and the work was terminated at the end of the first year of the contract. Task No. 4 Prediction of Auroral and Ionospheric Storms Several types of work were undertaken in order to improve our understanding of auroral and ionospheric storms; these storms are two aspects of the bombardment of the upper atmosphere by particles from the sun, In particular, a solar radio interferometer was set up to monitor the solar radio emissions at 65 me As described in R(l), an all sky camera and a photoelectric photometer were developed for the monitoring of the visual auroral activity. An investigation of earth potentials has shown that they provide a simple method of monitoring magnetic activity; some tests were also made using a rapid-response electronic magnetometer. Some of the results obtained with these equipments are discussed in the report. A study of the form of the front surface of a neutral corpuscular stream advancing into a magnetic field similar to the earth's magnetic field is presented. This study shows the presence of equatorial and polar forbidden zones and the fact that only the particles arriving near the border between these forbidden zones can reach the earth's upper atmosphere. An equatorial motion of the zone of bombardment could be produced by an increase either in particle density or in particle velocity. Task No. 5 Whistlers A new type of whistler has been discovered that has simultaneous rising and descending components. Analysis of data obtained during the contract period indicates a diurnal variation in the rate of occurrence of whistlers that appears to be correlated with ionospheric heights. A correlation between the day-to- day occurrence of the dawn chorus and the daily K-index sums is also found. Task No. 6 Diffraction and Scatter of Radio Waves by Mountains (a) Diffraction The diffraction of VHF radio waves by mountains has been investigated over three diffraction paths. The results show that the experimentally observed signal strengths are in fair agreement with the values calculated theoretically using knife-edge approximations. One important observation, which has not been reported previously, is the variability of the diffracted signal strength from point to point across the ground. Also, although diffracted signals are normally described as being very constant in amplitude, slow fades lasting some hours and occurring over a relatively narrow frequency band were observed over one 200- mile path. (b) Mountain scatter Observations of mountain scatter were made using the SCR-270 DA radar and a mobile receiving equipment. The results imply that detectable scattered signals can be obtained over a very wide range of azimuths (greater than + 135°) relative to the line joining the transmitter and the mountain. It was found that the scattered signals were considerably broadened in pulse length.Task No. 7 Ionospheric Absorption The work done in connection with ionospheric absorption under this contract has been described previously in R(l). Undertaken at the request of the 58th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, USAF, this study demonstrated convincingly that their communication failures were caused by ionospheric absorption phenomena, rather than by equipment or personnel failures. Task No. 8 Assistance to the Alaska Air Command on Problems of Radio Propagation As described in R(l), an investigation of a VHF radio link was made at the request of the Alaska Air Command. Continuous records of received signal strength at each end of the link revealed that the communication failures were caused by tropospheric refraction effects. A low-noise preamplifier, built and operated in parallel with a normal equipment, was found to reduce the number of fade-outs. A one-day symposium on Arctic radio wave propagation was held at the Geophysical Institute on January 26, 1956, for the benefit of communications personnel in the territory,, Approximately fifty visitors attended these meetings. The Geophysical Institute has also assisted the Alaska Air Command by the loan of electronic equipment and pen recorders as well as by supplying specialists who have acted in an advisory capacity on problems of radio wave propagation.