Radio wave propagation effects produced by chemical releases in the ionosphere

Research paper by Yaogai Hu, Zhengyu Zhao, Wei Xiang

Indexed on: 01 Jun '11Published on: 01 Jun '11Published in: Wuhan University Journal of Natural Sciences


As an effective means to actively modify the ionosphere, chemical release can produce artificial ionospheric holes as a consequence of ionization depletion, which can greatly impact on radio wave propagation. In this paper, on the basis of the pre-study results on ionospheric disturbances produced by some representative chemical releases, the radio waves propagation effects of ionospheric holes that are produced by two different release species, water (H2O) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), had been investigated and simulated by the three-dimensional (3-D) numerical ray tracing. The results show that ➀ the appearance of various artificial ionospheric holes can lead to certain decrease of critical frequency in the ionosphere, and ➁ when the wave frequency exceeds the critical frequency, the rays should be multiple reflections or penetrate through the ionospheric hole and focus afterwards with the focus altitude elevated for higher frequencies. This work may provide the necessary theoretical support for chemical release experiments and the evaluation of radio wave propagation effects.