Sounding of HF heating-induced artificial ionospheric disturbances by navigational satellite radio transmissions



[1] During experiments carried out in 2009–2011 the midlatitude ionosphere was modified by powerful HF pulses from the Sura heating facility located near Nizhny Novgorod (Russia) and operated by the Radio Physical Research Institute. GPS/GLONASS and Parus/Tsikada satellite radio transmissions responding to the heating-induced disturbances in electron density were analyzed. The variations in the total electron content (TEC), which are proportional to the reduced phase of navigational signals, were studied for various schemes of radiation of the heating wave. The variations in TEC (their amplitudes and temporal behavior) caused by HF heating are identified in several examples. The TEC spectra contain frequency components corresponding to the modulation periods of the heating wave. For the first time, the spatial structure of the wave disturbances generated in the ionosphere by high-power radio waves radiated by the Sura heating facility with a square wave modulation of the effective radiated power at a frequency lower than or of the order of the Brunt-Vaisala frequency of the neutral atmosphere is imaged using the method of low-orbital radio tomography and GPS/GLONASS data.