Modelling and observation of transionospheric propagation results from ISIS II in preparation for ePOP
Abstract. The enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (ePOP) is scheduled to be launched as part of the Cascade Demonstrator Small-Sat and Ionospheric Polar Explorer (CASSIOPE) satellite in early 2008. A Radio Receiver Instrument (RRI) on ePOP will receive HF transmissions from various ground-based transmitters. In preparation for the ePOP mission, data from a similar transionospheric experiment performed by the International Satellites for Ionospheric Studies (ISIS) II satellite has been studied. Prominent features in the received 9.303-MHz signal were periodic Faraday fading of signal intensity at rates up to 13 Hz and a time of arrival delay between the O- and X-modes of up to 0.8 ms. Both features occurred when the satellite was above or south of the Ottawa transmitter. Ionospheric models for ray tracing were constructed using both International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) profiles and local peak electron density values from ISIS ionograms. Values for fade rate and differential mode delay were computed and compared to the values observed in the ISIS II data. The computed values showed very good agreement to the observed values of both received signal parameters when the topside sounding foF2 values were used to scale IRI profiles, but not when strictly modelled IRI profiles were used. It was determined that the primary modifier of the received signal parameters was the foF2 density and not the shape of the profile. This dependence was due to refraction, at the 9.303-MHz signal frequency, causing the rays to travel larger distances near the peak density where essentially all the mode splitting occurred. This study should assist in interpretation of ePOP RRI data when they are available.