Ionospheric Observation of VLF Electrostatic Noise related to Harmonics of the Proton Gyrofrequency


BANDS of very-low-frequency (VLF) electrostatic noise related to harmonics of the proton gyrofrequency have been observed in the ionosphere with the Javelin 8.46 sounding rocket. The rocket payload, which was launched from Fort Churchill, Canada, at 0518 : 48 UT on May 25, 1968 (2318 : 48 local time, 70.1° invariant latitude), carried a VLF electric and magnetic field experiment consisting of eight antennas and six receivers and an electrostatic analyser for the measurement of electron and proton fluxes in the energy range from 5 eV to 50,000 eV. Two x-axis electric dipole antennas were used, each consisting of two conducting spheres and having centre-to-centre separations of 3.16 m and 42 cm. The two x-axis antennas were commutated, the short antenna being switched in place of the long antenna for 8 s in every 32 s; in these circumstances the characteristic wavelengths of the electric fields could be inferred. The payload reached a peak altitude of 801 km at 512 s after launch, and impacted 511 km from the launch site after a flight lasting 962 s.

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MOSIER, S., GURNETT, D. Ionospheric Observation of VLF Electrostatic Noise related to Harmonics of the Proton Gyrofrequency. Nature 223, 605–606 (1969).

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