Modeling D-Region Ionospheric Response of the Great American TSE of August 21, 2017 from VLF signal perturbation.
Solar eclipse is an unique opportunity to study the lower ionospheric variabilities under a controlled perturbation when the solar ultraviolet and X-ray are temporally occulted by the lunar disk. Sub-ionospheric Very Low Frequency (VLF) radio signal displays the ionospheric response of solar eclipse by modulating its amplitude and phase. During the Total Solar Eclipse (TSE) on August 21, 2017 in North America, data was recorded by a number of receivers as presented in public archive. Out of these, two receiving stations YADA in McBaine and K5TD in Tulsa could procure a reasonable quality of noise free data where the signal amplitude was clearly modulated due to the eclipse. During the lunar occultation, a C3.0 solar flare occurred and the signal received from Tulsa manifested the effect of sudden ionization due to the flare. The VLF amplitude in Tulsa shows the effect which is generally understood by superimposing effects of both the solar eclipse and flare. However, the signal by YADA did not perturb by the solar flare, as the flaring region was totally behind the lunar disk for the entire period. We numerically reproduced the observed signal amplitude variation at both the receiving locations by using Wait's two component D-region ionospheric model and the well-known Long Wavelength Propagation Capability (LWPC) code. The perturbed electron density for both the cases is computed which matches satisfactorily with the true ionospheric conditions.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.09389