Observing Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances using HamSCI Amateur Radio: Validation and Climatology

TitleObserving Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances using HamSCI Amateur Radio: Validation and Climatology
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2021
AuthorsSanchez, DF, Frissell, NA, Perry, GW, Engelke, WD, Coster, A, Erickson, PJ, J. Ruohoniemi, M, Baker, JBH
Conference NameHamSCI Workshop 2021
Date Published03/2021
Conference LocationScranton, PA (Virtual)

Traveling lonospheric Disturbances (TIDs) are propagating variations in ionospheric electron densities that affect radio communications and can help with understanding energy transport throughout the coupled magnetosphere-ionosphere-neutral atmosphere system. Large scale TIDs (LSTIDs) have periods T\ \approx30-180\ min, horizontal phase velocities v_H\approx‍100-‍250 m/s, and horizontal wavelengths \lambda_H>1000 km and are believed to be generated either by geomagnetic activity or lower atmospheric sources. TIDs create concavities in the ionospheric electron density profile that move horizontally with the TID and cause skip-distance focusing effects for high frequency (HF, 3-30 MHz) radio signals propagating through the ionosphere. The signature of this phenomena is manifest as quasi-periodic variations in contact ranges in HF amateur radio communication reports recorded by automated monitoring systems such as the Weak Signal Propagation Reporting Network (WSPRNet) and the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN). First in this study, members of the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) present a case study showing consistency in LSTID signatures in RBN and WSPRNet are also present in Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN), Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), and ionosonde measurements. Then, we present a climatology of LSTID activity as well as  using RBN and WSPRNet observations on the 1.8, 3.5, 7, 14, 21, and 28 MHz amateur radio bands from 2017. Results will be organized as a function observation frequency, longitudinal sector (North America and Europe), season, and geomagnetic activity level.

Refereed DesignationNon-Refereed