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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques








We demonstrate that bistatic reception of high-frequency oceanographic radars can be used as single-frequency oblique ionospheric sounders. We develop methods that are agnostic of the software-defined radio system to estimate the group range from the bistatic observations. The group range observations are used to estimate the virtual height and equivalent vertical frequency at the midpoint of the oblique propagation path. Uncertainty estimates of the virtual height and equivalent vertical frequency are presented. We apply this analysis to observations collected from two experiments run at two locations in different years, but utilizing similar software-defined radio data collection systems. In the first experiment, 10 d of data were collected in March 2016 at a site located in Maryland, USA, while the second experiment collected 20 d of data in October 2020 at a site located in South Carolina, USA. In both experiments, three Coastal Oceanographic Dynamics and Applications Radars (CODARs) located along the Virginia and North Carolina coast of the US were bistatically observed at 4.53718 MHz. The virtual height and equivalent virtual frequency were estimated in both experiments and compared with contemporaneous observations from a vertical incident digisonde-ionosonde at Wallops Island, VA, USA. We find good agreement between the oblique CODAR-derived and WP937 digisonde virtual heights. Variations in the virtual height from the CODAR observations and the digisonde are found to be nearly in phase with each other. We conclude from this investigation that observations of oceanographic radar can be used as single-frequency oblique incidence sounders. We discuss applications with respect to investigations of traveling ionospheric disturbances, studies of day-to-day ionospheric variability, and using these observations in data assimilation.


© Author(s) 2022.

This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.

Original Publication Citation

Kaeppler, S. R., Miller, E. S., Cole, D., & Updyke, T. (2022). On the use of high-frequency surface wave oceanographic research radars as bistatic single-frequency oblique ionospheric sounders. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 15, 4531-4545.


0000-0001-5738-5683 (Updyke)


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