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Atmosphere and Waves A McGourty-Rideout Tutorial.

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Presentation on theme: "Atmosphere and Waves A McGourty-Rideout Tutorial."— Presentation transcript:

1 Atmosphere and Waves A McGourty-Rideout Tutorial

2 Layers of the Atmosphere

3 The Troposphere Most dense All weather takes place here

4 The Stratosphere Dry Absorbs ultraviolet radiation (UV)ultraviolet radiation Ozone layer is hereOzone layer Ozone (O 3 ) absorbs much UV C and UV B waves. Ozone

5 The Mesosphere Coldest Many meteors burn up here

6 The Ionosphere Region of charged ions (positive) and electronsions electrons Electrons are torn off atoms by sunlight of short wavelengths Electrons dont recombine easily because the distance between molecules is large at high altitudes and collisions are not frequent

7 How Far Does the Atmosphere Extend? images are courtesy of Windows to the Universe,

8 Which waves on the EM spectrum get through to us on Earth?

9 Visible Light and some Infrared get through But thats NOT all!!! images are courtesy of Windows to the Universe,

10 So Do Radio Waves!!!!!

11 Troposphere –Most radio waves are refracted –Short wavelength-absorbed

12 Attenuation by the troposphere All wavelengths >25cm pass through O 2, H 2 O, and weather ( rain, fog, etc) cause attenuation

13 Refraction in the troposphere n air = 1.00029 when T=0°C and P=760mm of Hg n differs for light and radio waves only due to presence of water vapor which increases dielectric constant

14 As a ray moves from one layer of the atmosphere to another it bends


16 The Ionosphere Can Cause Reflection The ionosphere is known to reflect most radio waves because of its ions and free electronsreflect

17 Penetration and Refraction Penetration and refraction- dependent on electron density and wave frequency

18 Radio Ga-Ga The ionosphere refracts radio waves of certain frequencies ( 3-30MHz or short waves) This refraction makes worldwide radio communication possible without using satellites

19 Refraction in the ionosphere Larger than tropospheric Refraction at lower frequencies <40MHz Wedge refraction- east-west electron density gradients due to local solar time- cause ionosphere to act like tiny prism


21 Attenuation by the Ionosphere Ionization varies with latitude, season, solar time, and phase of sunspot cycle 2 regions- E and F where penetration take place Region D- absorption Divergence occurs at angles of incidence<30° and intensity on ground is reduced Absorption loss increases with air density- greatest in lower ionosphere

22 Check out the ionosphere and the role its layers play in radio wave communication in this really cool video.really cool video

23 Still dont get it, then move onto the next slide. If not click here:

24 Layers of the Ionosphere Lowest part: D layer has enough collisions to cause it to disappear after sunset Remaining ions and electrons recombine, without sunlight new ones are no longer produced Layer return at sunrise

25 D Layer and Radio Transmission Low frequencies ( below 10MHz) absorbed - high frequencies pass through More ionized = more radio wave absorption Maximum usable frequency ( highest frequency that can be refracted) : 16 MHzMaximum usable frequency Optimal usable frequency: 13.6 MHz Most abundant molecule present: O 3

26 E Layer of Ionosphere Ionized gas Reflects medium frequency waves, causes radio waves to be propagated beyond horizon Day- solar wind presses this layer closer to the Earth limiting distance radio waves can be reflectedsolar wind Night - solar wind drags the ionosphere further away, increasing the range of radio wavessolar wind Season and sunspot activity also influence reflectionsunspot activity

27 E Layer and Radio Transmission Refracts radio signals and causes them to skip back to earth Weakest at night - radio signals pass right through Maximum usable frequency : 28 MHz Optimal usable frequency : 23.8 MHz Most abundant molecule: O 2 Few seasonal or daily differences for transmission

28 F Layer of Ionosphere Most important in terms of high frequency communications During the day- 2 layers; combines into one layer at night Thickest Most reflective of radio on the side of the Earth facing the sun

29 F Layer and Radio Transmission Ionized all night Refracts higher frequencies by day, but passes them through at night Low frequencies ( 10-15MHz) are refracted back to earth at night Maximum usable frequency : 16 MHz Optimal usable frequency : 13.6 MHz Most abundant molecules present: Nitrogen in F1 sub layer and Oxygen in F2 sub layer.

30 Radio Waves Through the Atmosphere D layer disappears at night- low frequencies can now be used ( AM vs. FM) E Layer weak at night F sublayers combine into one layer at night Sunspots can increase the ionospheres ability to refract high frequency radio wavesSunspots Solar flares can increase the amount of radio wave absorption, thus hurting radio communicationsSolar flares

31 Space Weather What happens in the Sun and in space effects what happens here on Earth. To find out more clickclick

32 What Else Can the Sun Do? The Earth has a magnetic field that reaches into space The magnetic field of the Earth is surrounded in a region called the magnetosphere. The magnetosphere prevents most of the particles from the sun ( solar wind) from hitting the Earthsolar wind Some particles from the solar wind can enter the magnetosphere and cause aurorasauroras

33 Earths Magnetic Field

34 Solar Wind Coming Towards Earths Magnetosphere- watch the video video

35 Radio Waves Paths the images are courtesy of Windows to the Universe,

36 Ionosphere, Plasma, and Communication

37 Radio window to the universe Extends from.5mm to10m <3cm water vapor absorbs incoming radio emissions Between 3cm-50cm atmospheric conditions dont effect observations >50cm ionosphere and solar activity play crucial role in observations- night observations are best Any electrical devices between the 3cm-50cm band can effect observations- microwaves, garage door openers, cell phones, and remote controls due to harmonics

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