Technique of Height Measurement of the Ionosphere by the Pulse Method


IT has been shown1 that in the pulse method of Breit and Tuve for the measurement of the heights of the regions in the upper atmosphere from which wireless waves are reflected, the quantity to be measured is the equivalent path c∫ds/U, where U is the group velocity along an element of path ds and c is the velocity of light. The group velocity U is, by definition, the velocity of the crest of the disturbance. Now the crest is by no means an obvious point in the photographic registration, and it has been usual therefore to refer measurements to the beginning of the pulse. A great deal of ingenuity has been called forth in making this point readily recognisable, by shortening the pulse, increasing the rate of build-up, etc., so that errors due to variation in amplitude may be reduced to a minimum. Errors due to dispersion have been ignored or accepted as inevitable.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    E. V. Appleton, Proc. Phys. Soc., 41, 43; 1928. J. C. Schelling, Proc. Inst. Rad. Eng., 16, 1471; 1928.

  2. 2

    G. Builder, J. Inst. Elect. Eng., 73, 443; Oct. 1933.

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.