LF radio noise from the Earth's magnetosphere


  • Michael S. Frankel


Gyro-synchrotron radio noise emitted by electrons trapped in the Earth's magnetosphere has been a subject of extensive research. Previous efforts, which considered frequencies greater than 1 MHz, have shown that this noise should not be detectable in the MF to HF range because its intensity is below the cosmic background noise level. This author, however, has investigated the LF range and has found that appreciable noise is generated at these frequencies. In fact, the theoretical results for this LF noise agree very well with experimental data obtained by the Goddard Space Flight Center radio astronomy experiment aboard the IMP 6 spacecraft. A comparison showed that the model predicted both variation in the observed noise intensity with Kp and the noise spectral characteristics. Consequently, it is concluded that detectable LF radio noise is emitted, by means of the cyclotron-synchrotron mechanism, by electrons trapped in the Earth's magnetosphere, and that this noise is observable only for frequencies below about 300 kHz. For higher frequencies, the theoretical model and the experimental data reconfirm that this noise is below that of cosmic origin.