Broadband longwave radio remote sensing instrumentation

By dgolden - Posted on 08 July 2020

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TitleBroadband longwave radio remote sensing instrumentation
Publication TypeConference Paper
VLF Publication Number2018-09
Year of Publication 2018
AuthorsCohen, MB, Said RK, Paschal EW, McCormick JC, Gross NC, Thompson L, Higginson-Rollins M, Inan US, Chang J

We present the performance characteristics of a high-sensitivity radio receiver for the frequency band
0.5-470 kHz, known as the Low Frequency Atmospheric Weather Electromagnetic System for Obser-
vation, Modeling, and Education, or LF AWESOME. The receiver is an upgraded version of the VLF
AWESOME, completed in 2004, which provided high sensitivity broadband radio measurements of
natural lightning emissions, transmitting beacons, and radio emissions from the near-Earth space
environment. It has been deployed at many locations worldwide and used as the basis for dozens of
scientific studies. We present here a significant upgrade to the AWESOME, in which the frequency
range has been extended to include the LF and part √ of the medium frequency (MF) bands, the sensitiv-
ity improved by 10-25 dB to be as low as 0.03 fT/ Hz, depending on the frequency, and timing error
reduced to 15-20 ns range. The expanded capabilities allow detection of radio atmospherics from light-
ning strokes at global distances and multiple traverses around the world. It also allows monitoring of
transmitting beacons in the LF/MF band at thousands of km distance. We detail the specification of the
LF AWESOME and demonstrate a number of scientific applications. We also describe and character-
ize a new algorithm for minimum shift keying demodulation for VLF/LF transmitters for ionospheric
remote sensing applications. Published by AIP Publishing.