Radio Science

Computer simulation of ionospheric radio drift measurements, and their analysis by correlation methods


  • J. W. Wright,

  • M. L. V. Pitteway


A computer model is used to simulate spaced-antenna ionospheric drift experiments. It is shown that the random or “characteristic” velocity Vc observed by correlation analysis is about equal to the root-mean-square deviation of the velocity distributions used in the model. Correlation analysis with four fixed antennas is also shown to provide a reliable estimate of drift velocity and correlation scales over a range of wavelengths from about one third to three times the antenna spacing, with realistic error estimates on each parameter. “Dispersive motions” similar to those reported by other workers are observed even when the model contains no features which can be sensibly described by dispersion; it must therefore be presumed that the dispersion analysis of fading records is not necessarily a physically meaningful procedure.