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Measurements of the Absorptive Properties of the Ionosphere

Absorption of radio waves occurs when electrons responding to the wave fields collide with and transfer energy to the neutral particles. A study of ionospheric absorption yields information on both the D and E regions, where both electrons and neutral particles exist in sufficient quantity to produce significant absorption. Knowledge of D region characteristics is unattainable from normal sweep-frequency ionograms because absorption prevents the return of a detectable reflected signal. In practice, absorption characteristics are studied primarily in connection with radio communications applications. A riometer (relative ionospheric opacity meter) is a detector that measures the absorptive properties of the ionosphere. This directional detector is oriented in a fixed direction relative to the Earth (usually vertical) and measures the incident cosmic radio noise at a single frequency between 8 MHz and 120 MHz (usually 20, 30, or 60 MHz). During the course of each sidereal day, the riometer receives noise from all celestial longitudes. Due to the general constancy of cosmic radio noise, the signal will be constant except for a large-scale, small-amplitude, daily solar effect which regresses through the observations at the rate of 1 day per year (4 minutes earlier each day). Deviations of observed riometer signal power are primarily attributable to ionospheric variations particularly in the D and E regions. This method is particularly useful during radio blackout (high absorption) since it involves the use of higher frequency signals that are not completely absorbed. The Alaskan Chain Riometer data was discontinued, in analog form, December 31, 1990. The Data Center still receives riometer data from Kiruna. The publication includes magnetograms, k-indices, all-sky camera data, and riometer data. It is published quarterly. We also receive some riometer data from Syowa Station. The data are collections of several years of data and the publication (JARE DATA REPORTS) are sent by the National Institute of Polar Research, Tokyo Japan. These publications only have numeric values. All riometer data are in paper form and are stored off site. Most of the data are ''strip charts'' which record the variations on paper rolls. This data base is mostly a collection of the different charts and publications. No additional quality control is done by the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) here in Boulder. Data requested are electrostatic copies of the appropriate portion of a chart of publication.

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    Distribution Formats
      Distributor DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
      Point of Contact Rob Redmon
      DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
      (303) 497-4331
      ionosphere.ngdc@noaa.gov
      Documentation links not available.
      Originator
      • User Services
        DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
      Originator
      • User Services
        DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
      Publisher
      • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
      Date(s)
      • publication: 1964-01-01
      Edition: First
      Dataset Progress Status Under development
      Data Update Frequency: Monthly
      Purpose: Radio Wave Absorption Research
      Use Limitations
      • While every effort has been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the limits of the current state of the art, NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NOAA makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty.
      Time Period: 1963-01-01  to  1990-12-31
      Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates:
      N: 90.000000
      S: -90.000000
      E: 180.000000
      W: -180.000000
      Spatial Coverage Map:
      Themes
      • EARTH SCIENCE > Solar-terrestrial Interactions > Ionosphere/Magnetosphere Particles > Particle Density
      • EARTH SCIENCE > Solar-terrestrial Interactions > Ionosphere/Magnetosphere Particles > Particle Composition
      • Absorption
      Places
      • Ionosphere
      Use Constraints
      • Use Constraints: None
      Access Constraints
      • Access Constraints: No Constraints
      Fees
      • Depends on the Data Set
      Lineage Statement Lineage statement not available.

      Metadata Last Modified: 2010-10-26

      For questions about the information on this page, please email: ionosphere.ngdc@noaa.gov