Simulation study of the interaction between large-amplitude HF radio waves and the ionosphere

B. Eliasson, B. Thidé

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11 Citations (Scopus)


The time evolution of a large-amplitude electromagnetic (EM) wave injected vertically into the overhead ionosphere is studied numerically. The EM wave has a carrier frequency of 5 MHz and is modulated as a Gaussian pulse with a width of approximately 0.1 milliseconds and a vacuum amplitude of 1.5 V/m at 50 km. This is a fair representation of a modulated radio wave transmitted from a typical high-power HF broadcast station on the ground. The pulse is propagated through the neutral atmosphere to the critical points of the ionosphere, where the L-O and R-X modes are reflected, and back to the neutral atmosphere. We observe mode conversion of the L-O mode to electrostatic waves, as well as harmonic generation at the turning points of both the R-X and L-O modes, where their amplitudes rise to several times the original ones. The study has relevance for ionospheric interaction experiments in combination with ground-based and satellite or rocket observations.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL06106
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2007


  • ionosphere
  • radio wave propagation
  • nonlinear


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