The Siple VLF transmitter as a multi-frequency probe of the Earth-ionosphere waveguide

1983 receptions of subionospheric signals radiated from Siple, Antarctica (L = 4.3) to neighboring stations Palmer (L = 2.3), Halley (L = 4.3), and South Pole (Λ = 74°), each ~ 1500 km from the horizontal (magnetically east-west) VLF transmitting antenna at Siple, were found to be strongly dependent upon azimuth and upon signal frequency. At Palmer, located equatorward in the broadside direction with respect to the antenna, signals near 2.5 kHz were often well defined, while the third harmonic of the transmitted signal, near 7.5 kHz, was not detected. Meanwhile, at Halley, the third harmonic was regularly observed and directionally stable, while the fundamental was often weak or undetectable. The field strength of the third harmonic component at Halley exceeded by ~ 40dB the level of the fundamental, when both were normalized to the same antenna input power. The large size of these effects is attributed in part to antenna properties that favor the endfire direction (toward Halley) at the 3d harmonic of the antenna half wave resonance frequency, and in general provide greater efficiency at higher frequencies. Other factors are high waveguide attenuation in the 2–4 kHz range and azimuth dependent differences in the propagating modes. The observed effects represent a way of extending the effective frequency range of the narrowband Siple antenna system, and also, by using the new crossed dipole configuration at Siple, of selectively probing certain regions of the Earth-ionosphere waveguide.


Publication status:
Authors: Carpenter, D.L., Bell, T.F., Smith, A.J.

1 February, 1988
Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics / 50
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