LISTENING TO JULY’S ARECIBO OBSERVATORY IONOSPHERIC HEATING CAMPAIGN
During July 24-31 the large Arecibo Radio Observatory in Puerto Rico (the big dish antenna that you may be familiar with from the movie ‘Contact’) ran an Ionospheric heating experiment which involves transmitting 600kW of net power up into the Ionosphere. This type of experiment is used for researching plasma turbulence in the ionosphere and upper atmosphere.
“The new Arecibo ionosphere HF heater nominally transmits 600 kW net power and has a unique Cassegrain dual-array antenna design that increases gain of three crossed dipoles for each band, using the signature 1000-foot spherical dish reflector,” explained Chris Fallen, KL3WX, a researcher at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks HAARP facility. He has reported that Arecibo would use 5.125 or 8.175 MHz, depending upon ionospheric conditions, but emphasized that these are estimates and frequencies may be adjusted slightly. On July 25, Arecibo was transmitting on 5.095 MHz.
Over on YouTube Mike L. used his SDRplay RSP1 together with our BCAM HPF to record some transmissions from the observatory.
Moderate (G2) Geomagnetic Storm Watch Issued for August 4
NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has issued a G2 (moderate) geomagnetic storm watch for August 4, and a G1 (minor) watch for August 5.
“A coronal hole high-speed stream, originating from a recurrent, positive polarity coronal hole…is likely to cause geomagnetic storming at the G2 level on 4 August 2017, and at the G1 level on 5 August,” the SWPC said.
“During storms, the currents in the ionosphere, as well as the energetic particles that precipitate into the ionosphere, add energy in the form of heat that can increase the density and distribution of density in the upper atmosphere, causing extra drag on satellites in low-Earth orbit,” the SWPC explains on its website. “The local heating also creates strong horizontal variations in the in the ionospheric density that can modify the path of radio signals and create errors in the positioning information provided by GPS. While the storms create beautiful aurora, they also can disrupt navigation systems such as the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and create harmful geomagnetic induced currents (GICs) in the power grid and pipelines.”
There have been anecdotal reports of auroral-mode propagation on 2 meters in Norway and Finland.
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