Rocket observations of electron density in the nighttime E region using Faraday rotation


  • L. G. Smith,

  • B. E. Gilchrist


A rocket radio propagation experiment is described in which the electron density profile of the nighttime E region is obtained with an accuracy of 100 cm−3. The factors limiting the accuracy of the experiment are found to be related to atmospheric and receiver noise and to the use of a magnetometer to determine the spin rate of the rocket. The Fourier analysis used for the frequency measurement may also contribute error under conditions of steep electron density gradients. The accuracy being achieved appears to be adequate for present applications of the experiment.