by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) May 17, 2017
Humans have a measurable effect on Earth's near-space environment, new research shows.
Very low frequency radio communications interact with and influence particles in space. These interactions can sometimes yield a protective barrier, blocking incoming high energy particles.
The barrier has been detected by NASA's Van Allen Probes, robotic spacecraft tasked with surveying Earth's Van Allen radiation belts.
"A number of experiments and observations have figured out that, under the right conditions, radio communications signals in the VLF frequency range can in fact affect the properties of the high-energy radiation environment around the Earth," Phil Erickson, assistant director at the MIT Haystack Observatory, said in a news release.
VLF radio communications feature frequencies between 3 and 30 kilohertz. VLF's limited bandwidth isn't suitable for audio transmission. It's typically used for the long-distance transmission of coded signals by the military.
VLF radiation enables communication between bases and submarines, but the waves bounce out beyond the atmosphere, too.
While analyzing data from the Van Allen Probes, scientists realized the VLF bubble often corresponds with the lower limit of the Earth's radiation belts, streams of charged particles held in place by Earth's magnetic field.
Historical observations show the lower limits of the Van Allen radiation belts are farther from Earth today than they were in the 1960s, when VLF communications were less common. The findings -- detailed in the journal Space Science Reviews -- suggest VLF waves are pushing the Van Allen Belts outward.
Researchers are testing whether VLF radiation could be used to rid the upper atmosphere of excess radiation. Space weather can flood the upper atmosphere with charged particles, interrupting important communications systems.
Washington DC (UPI) May 15, 2017
High-performance Link-11/Link-22 data terminal sets and related communications equipment are to be delivered to the U.S. Navy by Leonardo DRS. The U.S. military and allied forces use Link-11 and Link-22 data systems to exchange information - including radar tracking information - among airborne, land-based and ship-board tactical data systems. "Under multiple contracts with the ... read more
Read the latest in Military Space Communications Technology at SpaceWar.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|