Title page for ETD etd-07132010-155632

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Ravindran Varrier, Nitya
Author's Email Address nityar@vt.edu
URN etd-07132010-155632
Title Ray Tracing Analysis for the mid-latitude SuperDARN HF radar at Blackstone incorporating the IRI-2007 model
Degree Master of Science
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Baker, Joseph Committee Co-Chair
Ruohoniemi, J. Michael Committee Co-Chair
Ellingson, Steven W. Committee Member
Scales, Wayne A. Committee Member
  • Propagation Analysis
  • IRI-2007
  • HF radar
  • Ray Tracing
  • SuperDARN
Date of Defense 2010-06-29
Availability unrestricted
The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) is an international network of high frequency (HF) coherent scatter radars, employed to detect backscatter from magnetic field aligned plasma irregularities in the ionosphere and to study the near- Earth space weather. Space weather impacts many technological systems including HF communications, Global Positioning System (GPS), and surveillance radars. Variations in the pattern of the backscatter from the ground (‘ground scatter’) observed by the SuperDARN radars give information regarding the state of the ionosphere. In this thesis, ray tracing simulation of the observed ground scatter pattern for the mid-latitude SuperDARN radar at Blackstone, Virginia is implemented. An existing ray tracing code was modified, to incorporate the IRI-2007 model for electron density. This ray tracing code was used to simulate the ground scatter pattern observed at Blackstone in the year 2009. Simulations were compared with the observed ground scatter to assess our understanding of the ionospheric conditions. The IRI-2007 model is found to be adequate to predict the average ground scatter pattern observed through the year, including the winter anomaly. However, one deficiency with the IRI-2007 model is its inability to predict the sporadic E layer formation in summer and an anomalous evening enhancement in backscatter power observed in some months of the year, described here for the first time. Finally some suggestions are presented for the further improvement of the simulation methods for backscatter prediction.
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