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TitleIonospheric effects on radio communications in the Arctic
AuthorDanskin, DORCID logo; Boteler, D HORCID logo
SourceProceedings of ASTRO2008 harnessing space and address global issues; 2008 p. 1-10
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20100361
MeetingASTRO2008; Montreal; CA; April 29 - May 1, 2008
File formatpdf
ProvinceNorthwest Territories; Nunavut; Quebec; Yukon
NTS25; 26; 27; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 55; 56; 57; 58; 59; 65; 66; 67; 68; 69; 75; 76; 77; 78; 79; 85; 86; 87; 88; 89; 95; 96; 97; 98; 99; 105; 106; 107; 115; 116; 117; 120; 340; 560
Lat/Long WENS-141.0000 -54.0000 90.0000 60.0000
Subjectsgeophysics; extraterrestrial geology; ionosphere; ionospheric currents; solar energy; solar variations; geomagnetism; geomagnetic variations; geomagnetic fields
Illustrationslocation maps; plots
ProgramPublic Safety Geoscience Targeted Hazard Assessments in Northern Canada
AbstractHigh frequency (HF) radio communications use the ionosphere to send signals great distances around the curvature of the Earth. This type of communication is still used in Polar Regions where line-of-sight VHF and satellite communications are unavailable. An increase in HF radio use has been prompted by the enhanced number of commercial airplanes flying on trans-polar routes and their need to stay in constant contact with air traffic control centers. Unfortunately HF radio communications can be affected by space weather disturbances: solar X-ray flares produce shortwave fadeouts on the sunward side of the Earth, energetic protons penetrating into the ionosphere at high latitudes produce polar cap absorption, and precipitating particles from the magnetosphere entering the ionosphere cause auroral absorption in a ring around each geomagnetic pole. The increased absorption of radio signals can cause a loss of radio communication for trans-polar flights.

This paper reviews the characteristics of the temporal and spatial extent of the Space Weather disturbances on HF communication. By understanding the effects space weather, services can be put in place to mitigate the impact on airline operations. The information presented about the regions affected, the frequency dependence of the absorption and the expected timelines of the disturbances, can help reduce the risk to trans-polar flights.

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