Ionospheric hole made by the 2012 North Korean rocket observed with a dense GNSS array in Japan
Article first published online: 10 JUL 2014
©2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Volume 49, Issue 7, pages 497–505, July 2014
How to Cite
2014), Ionospheric hole made by the 2012 North Korean rocket observed with a dense GNSS array in Japan, Radio Sci., 49, 497–505, doi:10.1002/2014RS005413., and (
- Issue published online: 11 AUG 2014
- Article first published online: 10 JUL 2014
- Accepted manuscript online: 24 JUN 2014 07:57AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 JUN 2014
- Manuscript Revised: 10 JUN 2014
- Manuscript Received: 28 FEB 2014
A dense array of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers is useful to study ionospheric disturbances. Here we report observations by a Japanese GNSS array of an ionospheric hole, i.e., localized electron depletion, made by water vapor molecules in the exhaust plume of the second-stage engine of the Unha-3 rocket launched from North Korea, on 12 December 2012. The Russian GNSS was used for the first time to observe such an ionospheric hole. The hole emerged ~6 min after the launch above the middle of the Yellow Sea, and its size and depth suggest that the Unha-3 is slightly less powerful than the 2009 Taepodong-2 missile, also from North Korea. Smaller-scale electron depletion signatures appeared ~10 min after the launch above the southern East China Sea, which is possibly caused by the exhaust plume of the third-stage engine.