HF Doppler Backscatter Observations of the October 1995 Total Solar Eclipse


The Royal Australian Air Force operates an Over The Horizon Radar (OTHR) from Alice Springs in Central Australia. This OTHR is called Jindalee. Since the active medium for this form of radar is the ionosphere, Australia has a continuing interest in the physics of this region of the upper atmosphere.

One of the support instruments for Jindalee is a very much scaled down version of the radar, called the Mini-Radar. It forms part of the Frequency Management System (FMS), and it is used to provide operators of the main radar with advice on ionospheric conditions, and it operates in an identical fashion to the main radar, recording the signal strength of surf ace backscattered HF radio echoes as a function of range, Doppler and azimuth.

October 1995 marked the occurrence a total solar eclipse, in which the path of totality travelled eastward from near the Caspian Sea, past the Philippines and out into the Pacific Ocean. Since this region falls within the area "covered" by the Mini-Radar, it was decided to use this instrument to monitor ionospheric behaviour during the period of the eclipse.

Early results are presented.

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