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Effect of Solar Eclipse on Amateur Radio Communication

Total solar eclipse will happen on March 6, 2016. The path of solar eclicpse as mention on figure above. On March 9 2016 a large area of the Pacific, covering IndonesiaMalaysia, but also large parts of South-East Asia and Australia will witness a partial solar eclipse.

Path of total solar eclipse on March 9, 2016. Source : Dongeng Geologi.
Path of total solar eclipse on March 9, 2016. Source : Dongeng Geologi.

This is a great opportunity to try some simple experiments to see how the sun’s ultra violet output affects our ionosphere and how some radio waves are propagated.

Total solar eclipse as experiments conducted before, has impact on ionospheric layers at the regions that passed by the path of solar eclipse. Ionospheric layer impacted on propagation.

Propagation of the artificial electromagnetic waves with frequency of 82 Hz in the Earth-ionosphere waveguide was observed during the solar eclipse on both partially and totally obscured high-latitude paths with a length of 450–1200 km. Field excitation was monitored by the reference measurements in the near zone of the transmitter, which are free of the ionospheric influence.

It is found that the amplitude of the field at the remote points varied depending on the solar illumination and solar elevation angle. We suppose that this effect was probably caused by the increase in the effective height of the ionospheric D layer, just as it was previously observed in VLF. The obtained results demonstrate the response of the propagating extremely low frequency (ELF, 3–300 Hz) wave to the change in the ionospheric boundary. 

This effect has been for the first time observed in this frequency range during a total solar eclipse.

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