2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Science

Correlation Study: Ionospheric Disturbances and Sunspot Activity
Justin M. McAninch
Dr. Matthew M. Beaky, Faculty Mentor

The goal of this project was to investigate the possibility of correlations between ionospheric disturbances due to solar flares and sunspot activity. The state of the ionosphere was monitored with a loop antenna and receiver that were tuned to very low frequency radio waves broadcast by the US Navy for submarine communication. The signal from the receiver passed through an analog to digital converter, then to a data collection program on a computer. A characteristic enhancement in the radio frequency signal is evidence of a Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance (SID). Sunspot numbers were determined by using images of the sun made by an orbiting satellite. The number of sunspots and the number of SIDs were recorded for each day during the month of August, 2003. A correlation between sunspot activity and SIDs was observed.

Keywords: Ionospheric, sunspot, VLF radio waves, receiver, ADC, SID, correlation, Disturbance

Topic(s):Physics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 48-4
Location: VH 1432
Time: 4:30

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