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Effect of the Earth's Albedo on the Ionospheric D Layer


  • G. J. Gassmann,

  • R. A. Wagner


An aircraft carrying an ionospheric sounder traversed the boundaries of extended cloud cover near Los Angeles five times on July 18, 1967. Amplitudes of ionospheric E-layer echoes at 3 MHz were received and recorded on magnetic tape, and median values were determined in 1-minute intervals. Although these values scattered over ±3 decibels, the average median was lower, by 2.1 decibels, when the aircraft was over cloud cover than when the aircraft was over a cloud-free area. The results suggest that an enhancement of the flux of visible light due to the reflecting cloud cover (estimated albedo 40%) changed the D-layer chemistry in such a way that the electron density increased, resulting in a (6±3)% increase of two-way non-deviative absorption.

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