A Review of Ionospheric Effects On Earth-Space Propagation

John A. Klobuchar

Abstract: Radio waves undergo several effects when they pass through the earth's ionosphere. One of the most important of these effects is a retardation, or group delay, on the retardation or information carried on the radio wave that is due to its encounter with the free, thermal electrons in the earth's ionosphere. Other effects the ionosphere has on radio waves include: (1) RF carrier phase advance; (2) Doppler shift of the RF carrier of the radio wave; (3) Faraday rotation of the plane of polarization of linearly polarized waves; (4) angular refraction or bending of' the radio wave path as it travels through the ionosphere; and (6) amplitude and phase scintillations. With the exception of scintillation, all the other effects listed here are proportional, at least to first order, to the total number of electrons encountered by the wave on its passage through the ionosphere or to their time of change. In fact, phase scintillation also is merely the short term time rate of change of' total electron content (TEC) after , the longer term variations have been removed. In this review, a short description will be given of each ionospheric TEC effect upon radio waves, along with a representative value of' the magnitude of each of these effects under normal ionospheric conditions. This will be followed by a discussion of the important characteristics of average ionospheric TEC behavior and the temporal and spatial variability of TEC.
Published in: Proceedings of the 16th Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting
November 27 - 29, 1984
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, Maryland
Pages: 225 - 228
Cite this article: Klobuchar, John A., "A Review of Ionospheric Effects On Earth-Space Propagation," Proceedings of the 16th Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting, Greenbelt, Maryland, November 1984, pp. 225-228.
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