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Session 55 - Space Instrumentation.
Display session, Wednesday, June 12
We have investigated the propagation of terrestrial radio sources from 1 to 30 MHz (HF spectral region) through the ionosphere for the purpose of characterizing the interference spectrum on potential space-based, low-frequency-radio telescopes. A recent survey of the HF noise environment at satellite heights from 1 to 14 MHz has been conducted using the WIND spacecraft. Radio frequencies for which the interference appears to be sufficiently low for radio telescopes are 1.3, 2.9, 3.1, 8.2, and 11.4 MHz. A model was developed to predict the HF noise environment. Our current model includes a source model, an ionospheric model, and a ray tracing model. The source model was developed using known commercial broadcast stations found in the World Radio TV Handbook. The ICED ionospheric model was used to generate a model ionosphere. By ray tracing a terrestrially based broadcast source through the model ionosphere, an ionospheric transfer function (ITF) was developed. By modifying the source model using the ITF, we were able to simulate the expected noise environment at satellite heights. Comparison of modeled and measured spectra show the majority of the noise environment is due to known commercial broadcasters. Improved modeling is necessary because the slopes of the simulated spectra above the plasma frequency are too shallow, and the plasma cutoff frequencies are too high compared to the measured data.
Program listing for Wednesday