Development of a phased-array ionospheric imaging system




Bruce, Nicholas

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A novel approach to ionospheric imaging with the purpose of weather/distaster prediction and climate study is introduced. This feasibility study combines traditional material imaging techniques with high frequency (HF) radio via SDR (software defined radio) systems in order to capture three-dimensional images of the atmosphere. An experiment is devised and the necessary instrumentation built in order to capture coherent images of the ionosphere. The experimental results show these three-dimensional images as well as a novel approach to measuring ionospheric height. The novelty of the research comes from the use of a closely spaced phased-array of radio antennas in conjunction with a post-correlation beamformer repurposed from radio astronomy. Experiments were run at both the University of Victoria and DRAO (Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory), the results which led to a successful proposal for extending the research onto a larger array with support from research groups in New Mexico.



HF radio, phased-array, ionosphere, atmospheric science, earthquake precursors