Radio Observation
of Atmospheric Phenomena

Density-plot of Doppler shifts (y-axis) extracted from sporadic meteor head echoes during 15 days of reception (x-axis):

Density plot of Doppler shifted meteor head echoes

I utilised radio waves in the frequency range 10 kHz-200 MHz for the study of atmospheric phenomena. Here I present the outcome of my radio projects:

Ionosphere and Sferics with the AR5000 receiver

This radio project was based on the AOR AR5000 communications receiver. It aimed at a monitoring of ionospheric conditions and sferics. For this purpose the AR5000 has to be controlled by a computer via the RS232 interface. I developed the necessary software which can be downloaded for free (for Windows up to version 7). The software not only controls all settings of the receiver but also records rf-signals basicly on the level of the automatic gain control (agc). The propagation of radio waves can be recorded at different frequencies and time schedules. I performed some exemplary exercises to get an idea of the possibilities of this system. Read more.

Ionospheric Effects caused by a Solar Eclipse

I took the chance of the solar eclipse occurring 2015 to observe their effect on the ionosphere by measuring the propagation of low frequency radio waves. Different transmitters at different wavelengths in the vlf- and lf-range were involved. Their signals were recorded quasi-simultaneously for several days to see, how they deviate during the eclipse. The results are presented here.

Radio Meteors, especially Head Echoes

My most extensive project is dedicated to the radio observation of meteors. After first steps in this topic soon my interest arised in the study of meteor head echoes. As a necessary prerequisite I developed a fast recording software with numerical output together with a second program to processes the gained data. Both scripts can be downloaded for free. The radio detectability of head echoes as well as the visualisation of meteor showers and major sporadic meteor origins based on head echoes were covered in depth in several studies. Read more.

Sporadic E layer forming

I studied the occurence of sporadic E layers by analysing automatically created reception reports from all over Europe. They were triggered by my own periodically transmitted JS8 heartbeats in the 11 m band (27 MHz, license free citizen band). This way, the nature of sporadic E could be examined and solar and lunar tides characterised. Additionally I tried to uncover the influence of meteoric influx on the seasonal variability of sporadic E occurence by analysing European ionosonde-data. Read more.

Depiction of the Observation Site

At least, I used optical radiation to give a pictorial insight in the place where all radio measurements had been performed. This site is completely unspectacular, neverless it is unique and is worth a quick look.