Detection of acoustic-gravity waves in lower ionosphere by VLF radio waves

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Abstract

[1] We present a new method to study harmonic waves in the low ionosphere (60–90 km) by detecting their effects on reflection of very low frequency (VLF) radio waves. Our procedure is based on amplitude analysis of reflected VLF radio waves recorded in real time, which yields an insight into the dynamics of the ionosphere at heights where VLF radio waves are being reflected. The method was applied to perturbations induced by the solar terminator motions at sunrises and sunsets. The obtained results show that typical perturbation frequencies found to exist in higher regions of the atmosphere are also present in the lower ionosphere, which indicates a global nature of the considered oscillations. In our model atmosphere, they turn out to be the acoustic and gravity waves with comparatively short and long periods, respectively.

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