Extremely low frequency

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Extremely low frequency
Frequency range
3 to 30 Hz
Wavelength range
100,000 to 10,000 km, respectively
1982 aerial view of the U.S. Navy Clam Lake, Wisconsin, ELF transmitter facility, used to communicate with deeply submerged submarines. The rights of way of the two perpendicular 14 mile (23 km) overhead transmission lines that constituted the ground dipole antenna which radiated the ELF waves can be seen at lower left. Clam Lake ELF.jpg
1982 aerial view of the U.S. Navy Clam Lake, Wisconsin, ELF transmitter facility, used to communicate with deeply submerged submarines. The rights of way of the two perpendicular 14 mile (23 km) overhead transmission lines that constituted the ground dipole antenna which radiated the ELF waves can be seen at lower left.

Extremely low frequency (ELF) is the ITU designation [1] for electromagnetic radiation (radio waves) with frequencies from 3 to 30  Hz, and corresponding wavelengths of 100,000 to 10,000 kilometers, respectively. [2] [3] In atmospheric science, an alternative definition is usually given, from 3 Hz to 3 kHz. [4] [5] In the related magnetosphere science, the lower frequency electromagnetic oscillations (pulsations occurring below ~3 Hz) are considered to lie in the ULF range, which is thus also defined differently from the ITU radio bands.

International Telecommunication Union Specialized agency of the United Nations

The International Telecommunication Union, originally the International Telegraph Union, is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that is responsible for issues that concern information and communication technologies. It is the oldest among all the 15 specialised agencies of UN.

Electromagnetic radiation form of energy emitted and absorbed by charged particles, which exhibits wave-like behavior as it travels through space

In physics, electromagnetic radiation refers to the waves of the electromagnetic field, propagating (radiating) through space, carrying electromagnetic radiant energy. It includes radio waves, microwaves, infrared, (visible) light, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays.

Radio wave type of electromagnetic radiation

Radio waves are a type of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum longer than infrared light. Radio waves have frequencies as high as 300 gigahertz (GHz) to as low as 30 hertz (Hz). At 300 GHz, the corresponding wavelength is 1 mm, and at 30 Hz is 10,000 km. Like all other electromagnetic waves, radio waves travel at the speed of light. They are generated by electric charges undergoing acceleration, such as time varying electric currents. Naturally occurring radio waves are emitted by lightning and astronomical objects.

Contents

ELF radio waves are generated by lightning and natural disturbances in Earth's magnetic field, so they are a subject of research by atmospheric scientists. Because of the difficulty of building antennas that can radiate such long waves, ELF frequencies have been used in only a very few man-made communication systems. ELF waves can penetrate seawater, which makes them useful in communication with submarines. The US, Russia, India, and China are the only nations known to have constructed ELF communication facilities. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] The U.S. facilities were used between 1985 and 2004 but are now decommissioned. [9]

Lightning atmospheric discharge of electricity

Lightning is a sudden electrostatic discharge that occurs usually during a thunderstorm. This discharge occurs between electrically charged regions of a cloud, between two clouds, or between a cloud and the ground.

Magnetic field spatial distribution of vectors allowing the calculation of the magnetic force on a test particle

A magnetic field is a vector field that describes the magnetic influence of electrical currents and magnetized materials. In everyday life, the effects of magnetic fields are often seen in permanent magnets, which pull on magnetic materials and attract or repel other magnets. Magnetic fields surround and are created by magnetized material and by moving electric charges such as those used in electromagnets. Magnetic fields exert forces on nearby moving electrical charges and torques on nearby magnets. In addition, a magnetic field that varies with location exerts a force on magnetic materials. Both the strength and direction of a magnetic field varies with location. As such, it is an example of a vector field.

Antenna (radio) electrical device which converts electric power into radio waves, and vice versa

In radio engineering, an antenna is the interface between radio waves propagating through space and electric currents moving in metal conductors, used with a transmitter or receiver. In transmission, a radio transmitter supplies an electric current to the antenna's terminals, and the antenna radiates the energy from the current as electromagnetic waves. In reception, an antenna intercepts some of the power of a radio wave in order to produce an electric current at its terminals, that is applied to a receiver to be amplified. Antennas are essential components of all radio equipment.

Alternate definitions

ELF is a subradio frequency. [14] Some medical peer reviewed journal articles refer to ELF in the context of "extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields (MF)" with frequencies of 50 Hz [15] and 50–80 Hz. [16] United States Government agencies, such as NASA, describe ELF as non-ionizing radiation with frequencies between 0 and 300 Hz. [14] The World Health Organization (WHO) have used ELF to refer to the concept of "extremely low frequency (ELF) electric and magnetic fields (EMF)" [17] The WHO also stated that at frequencies between 0 and 300 Hz, "the wavelengths in air are very long (6000 km at 50 Hz and 5000 km at 60 Hz), and, in practical situations, the electric and magnetic fields act independently of one another and are measured separately." [17]

Peer review evaluation of work by one or more people of similar competence to the producers of the work

Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competences as the producers of the work (peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Peer review methods are used to maintain quality standards, improve performance, and provide credibility. In academia, scholarly peer review is often used to determine an academic paper's suitability for publication. Peer review can be categorized by the type of activity and by the field or profession in which the activity occurs, e.g., medical peer review.

Propagation

Typical spectrum of ELF electromagnetic waves in the Earth's atmosphere, showing peaks caused by the Schumann resonances. The Schumann resonances are the resonant frequencies of the spherical Earth-ionosphere cavity. Lightning strikes cause the cavity to "ring" like a bell, causing peaks in the noise spectrum. The sharp power peak at 50 Hz is caused by radiation from global electric power grids. The rise of the noise at low frequencies (left side) is radio noise caused by slow processes in the Earth's magnetosphere. Schumann resonance spectrum.gif
Typical spectrum of ELF electromagnetic waves in the Earth's atmosphere, showing peaks caused by the Schumann resonances. The Schumann resonances are the resonant frequencies of the spherical Earth-ionosphere cavity. Lightning strikes cause the cavity to "ring" like a bell, causing peaks in the noise spectrum. The sharp power peak at 50 Hz is caused by radiation from global electric power grids. The rise of the noise at low frequencies (left side) is radio noise caused by slow processes in the Earth's magnetosphere.

Due to their extremely long wavelength, ELF waves can diffract around large obstacles, and are not blocked by mountain ranges or the horizon and can travel around the curve of the Earth. ELF and VLF waves propagate long distances by an Earth-ionosphere waveguide mechanism. [5] [18] The Earth is surrounded by a layer of charged particles (ions) in the atmosphere at an altitude of about 60 km at the bottom of the ionosphere, called the D layer which reflects ELF waves. The space between the conductive Earth's surface and the conductive D layer acts as a parallel-plate waveguide which confines ELF waves, allowing them to propagate long distances without escaping into space. In contrast to VLF waves, the height of the layer is much less than one wavelength at ELF frequencies, so the only mode that can propagate at ELF frequencies is the TEM mode in vertical polarization, with the electric field vertical and the magnetic field horizontal. ELF waves have extremely low attenuation of 1–2 dB per 1000 km, [18] [19] giving a single transmitter the potential to communicate worldwide.

Diffraction refers to various phenomena that occur when a wave encounters an obstacle or a slit

Diffraction refers to various phenomena that occur when a wave encounters an obstacle or a slit. It is defined as the bending of waves around the corners of an obstacle or aperture into the region of geometrical shadow of the obstacle. In classical physics, the diffraction phenomenon is described as the interference of waves according to the Huygens–Fresnel principle that treats each point in the wave-front as a collection of individual spherical wavelets. These characteristic behaviors are exhibited when a wave encounters an obstacle or a slit that is comparable in size to its wavelength. Similar effects occur when a light wave travels through a medium with a varying refractive index, or when a sound wave travels through a medium with varying acoustic impedance. Diffraction has an impact on the acoustic space. Diffraction occurs with all waves, including sound waves, water waves, and electromagnetic waves such as visible light, X-rays and radio waves.

Very low frequency radio waves

Very low frequency or VLF is the ITU designation for radio frequencies (RF) in the range of 3 to 30 kilohertz (kHz), corresponding to wavelengths from 100 to 10 kilometers, respectively. The band is also known as the myriameter band or myriameter wave as the wavelengths range from one to ten myriameters. Due to its limited bandwidth, audio (voice) transmission is highly impractical in this band, and therefore only low data rate coded signals are used. The VLF band is used for a few radio navigation services, government time radio stations and for secure military communication. Since VLF waves can penetrate at least 40 meters (120 ft) into saltwater, they are used for military communication with submarines.

In physics, a charged particle is a particle with an electric charge. It may be an ion, such as a molecule or atom with a surplus or deficit of electrons relative to protons. It can also be an electron or a proton, or another elementary particle, which are all believed to have the same charge. Another charged particle may be an atomic nucleus devoid of electrons, such as an alpha particle.

ELF waves can also travel considerable distances through "lossy" media like earth and seawater, which would absorb or reflect higher frequency radio waves.

Schumann resonances

The attenuation of ELF waves is so low that they can travel completely around the Earth several times before decaying to negligible amplitude, and thus waves radiated from a source in opposite directions circumnavigating the Earth on a great circle path interfere with each other. [20] At certain frequencies these oppositely directed waves are in phase and add (reinforce), causing standing waves. In other words, the closed spherical Earth-ionosphere cavity acts as a huge cavity resonator, enhancing ELF radiation at its resonant frequencies. These are called Schumann resonances after German physicist Winfried Otto Schumann who predicted them in 1952, [21] [22] [23] [24] and were detected in the 1950s. Modeling the Earth-ionosphere cavity with perfectly conducting walls, Schumann calculated the resonances should occur at frequencies of [20]

Great circle intersection of the sphere and a plane which passes through the center point of the sphere

A great circle, also known as an orthodrome, of a sphere is the intersection of the sphere and a plane that passes through the center point of the sphere. A great circle is the largest circle that can be drawn on any given sphere. Any diameter of any great circle coincides with a diameter of the sphere, and therefore all great circles have the same center and circumference as each other. This special case of a circle of a sphere is in opposition to a small circle, that is, the intersection of the sphere and a plane that does not pass through the center. Every circle in Euclidean 3-space is a great circle of exactly one sphere.

Standing wave wave that remains in a constant position

In physics, a standing wave – also known as a stationary wave – is a wave which oscillates in time but whose peak amplitude profile does not move in space. The peak amplitude of the wave oscillations at any point in space is constant with time, and the oscillations at different points throughout the wave are in phase. The locations at which the amplitude is minimum are called nodes, and the locations where the amplitude is maximum are called antinodes.

Schumann resonances peaks in the Earths electromagnetic field spectrum, named for Winifred Otto Schumann

The Schumann resonances (SR) are a set of spectrum peaks in the extremely low frequency (ELF) portion of the Earth's electromagnetic field spectrum. Schumann resonances are global electromagnetic resonances, generated and excited by lightning discharges in the cavity formed by the Earth's surface and the ionosphere.

The actual frequencies differ slightly from this due to the conduction properties of the ionosphere. The fundamental Schumann resonance is at approximately 7.83 Hz, the frequency at which the wavelength equals the circumference of the Earth, and higher harmonics occur at 14.1, 20.3, 26.4, and 32.4 Hz, etc. Lightning strikes excite these resonances, causing the Earth-ionosphere cavity to "ring" like a bell, resulting in a peak in the noise spectrum at these frequencies, so the Schumann resonances can be used to monitor global thunderstorm activity.

Wavelength spatial period of the wave—the distance over which the waves shape repeats, and thus the inverse of the spatial frequency

In physics, the wavelength is the spatial period of a periodic wave—the distance over which the wave's shape repeats. It is thus the inverse of the spatial frequency. Wavelength is usually determined by considering the distance between consecutive corresponding points of the same phase, such as crests, troughs, or zero crossings and is a characteristic of both traveling waves and standing waves, as well as other spatial wave patterns. Wavelength is commonly designated by the Greek letter lambda (λ). The term wavelength is also sometimes applied to modulated waves, and to the sinusoidal envelopes of modulated waves or waves formed by interference of several sinusoids.

Interest in Schumann resonances was renewed in 1993 when E. R. Williams showed a correlation between the resonance frequency and tropical air temperatures, suggesting the resonance could be used to monitor global warming. [25] [20]

Submarine communications

A ground dipole antenna used for transmitting ELF waves, similar to the U.S. Navy Clam Lake antennas, showing how it works. It functions as a huge loop antenna, with the alternating current I from the transmitter P passing through an overhead transmission line, then deep in the earth from one ground connection G to the other, then through another transmission line back to the transmitter. This creates an alternating magnetic field H which radiates ELF waves. The alternating current is shown flowing in one direction only through the loop for clarity. Ground dipole ELF antenna.svg
A ground dipole antenna used for transmitting ELF waves, similar to the U.S. Navy Clam Lake antennas, showing how it works. It functions as a huge loop antenna, with the alternating current I from the transmitter P passing through an overhead transmission line, then deep in the earth from one ground connection G to the other, then through another transmission line back to the transmitter. This creates an alternating magnetic field H which radiates ELF waves. The alternating current is shown flowing in one direction only through the loop for clarity.

The United States Navy utilized extremely low frequencies (ELFs) as radio band and radio communications. The Submarine Integrated Antenna System (SIAS) was a research and development effort to communicate with submerged submarines. [26] The Soviet/Russian Navy also utilized ELFs for submarine communications system, ZEVS. [27] The Indian Navy has an operational ELF communication facility at the INS Kattabomman naval base to communicate with its Arihant class and Akula class submarines. [28] [29]

Explanation

Because of its electrical conductivity, seawater shields submarines from most higher frequency radio waves, making radio communication with submerged submarines at ordinary frequencies impossible. Signals in the ELF frequency range, however, can penetrate much deeper. Two factors limit the usefulness of ELF communications channels: the low data transmission rate of a few characters per minute and, to a lesser extent, the one-way nature due to the impracticality of installing an antenna of the required size on a submarine (the antenna needs to be of an exceptional size in order to achieve successful communication). Generally, ELF signals have been used to order a submarine to rise to a shallow depth where it could receive some other form of communication.

Difficulties of ELF communication

One of the difficulties posed when broadcasting in the ELF frequency range is antenna size, because the length of the antenna must be at least a substantial fraction of the length of the waves. Simply put, a 3 Hz (cycle per second) signal would have a wavelength equal to the distance EM waves travel through a given medium in one third of a second. Taking account of refractive index, ELF waves propagate slightly slower than the speed of light in a vacuum. As used in military applications, the wavelength is 299,792 km (186,282 mi) per second divided by 50–85 Hz, which equals around 3,500 to 6,000 km (2,200 to 3,700 mi) long. This is comparable to the Earth's diameter of around 12,742 km (7,918 mi). Because of this huge size requirement, to transmit internationally using ELF frequencies, the Earth itself forms a significant part of the antenna, and extremely long leads are necessary into the ground. Various means, such as electrical lengthening, are used to construct practical radio stations with smaller sizes.

The US maintained two sites, in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Wisconsin and in the Escanaba River State Forest, Michigan (originally named Project Sanguine, then downsized and rechristened Project ELF prior to construction), until they were dismantled, beginning in late September 2004. Both sites used long power lines, so-called ground dipoles, as leads. These leads were in multiple strands ranging from 22.5 to 45 kilometres (14.0 to 28.0 mi) long. Because of the inefficiency of this method, considerable amounts of electrical power were required to operate the system.

Ecological impact

There have been some concerns over the possible ecological impact of ELF signals. In 1984 a federal judge halted construction, requiring more environmental and health studies. This judgment was overruled by a federal appeals court on the basis that the US Navy claimed to have spent over $25 million studying the effects of the electromagnetic fields, with results indicating that they were similar to the effect produced by standard power distribution lines. The judgment was not accepted by everyone and, during the time that ELF was in use, some Wisconsin politicians such as Senators Herb Kohl, Russ Feingold and Congressman Dave Obey called for its closure. Similar concerns have, in the past, been raised about electromagnetic radiation and health.

Other uses

Transmitters in the 22 Hz range are also used in pigging. The signal is generated as an alternating magnetic field, and the transmitter is mounted to, or to part of, the "pig". The pig is pushed through a pipeline mostly made of metal. The ELF signal can be detected through the metal allowing its location to be detected by receivers located outside of the pipe. [30] It is needed to check if a pig has passed a certain location and to locate a stuck pig.[ clarification needed ]

Some radio monitoring hobbyists record ELF signals using antennas ranging in size from eighteen inch active antennas up to several thousand feet in length taking advantage of fences, highway guard rails, and even decommissioned railroad tracks, and play them back at higher speeds to more easily observe natural low frequency fluctuations in the Earth's electromagnetic field. Increasing the playback speed increases the pitch, so that it can be brought into the audio frequency range for audibility.

Natural sources

Naturally occurring ELF waves are present on Earth, resonating in the region between ionosphere and surface seen in lightning strikes that make electrons in the atmosphere oscillate. [31] Though VLF signals were predominantly generated from lightning discharges, it was found that an observable ELF component—slow tail—followed the VLF component in almost all cases. [32] Also, the fundamental mode of the Earth-ionosphere cavity has the wavelength equal to the circumference of the Earth, which gives a resonance frequency of 7.8 Hz. This frequency, and higher resonance modes of 14, 20, 26 and 32 Hz appear as peaks in the ELF spectrum and are called Schumann resonance.

ELF waves have also been tentatively identified on Saturn's moon Titan. Titan's surface is thought to be a poor reflector of ELF waves, so the waves may instead be reflecting off the liquid-ice boundary of a subsurface ocean of water and ammonia, the existence of which is predicted by some theoretical models. Titan's ionosphere is also more complex than Earth's, with the main ionosphere at an altitude of 1,200 km (750 mi) but with an additional layer of charged particles at 63 km (39 mi). This splits Titan's atmosphere into two separate resonating chambers. The source of natural ELF waves on Titan is unclear as there does not appear to be extensive lightning activity. [31]

Huge ELF radiation power outputs of 100,000 times the Sun's output in visible light may be radiated by magnetars. The pulsar in the Crab nebula radiates powers of this order at 30 Hz. [33] Radiation of this frequency is below the plasma frequency of the interstellar medium, thus this medium is opaque to it, and it cannot be observed from Earth.

Exposure

In electromagnetic therapy and electromagnetic radiation and health research, electromagnetic spectrum frequencies between 0 and 100 hertz are considered extremely low-frequency fields. [34] A common source of exposure of the public to ELF fields is 60 Hz electric and magnetic fields from high-voltage electric power transmission lines and secondary distribution lines, such as those supplying electricity to residential neighborhoods. [17] [35] [34]

Possible health effects

Since the late 1970s, questions have been raised whether exposure to ELF electric and magnetic fields (EMF) within this range of frequencies produces adverse health consequences. [35] Some may think biological effects from acute exposure at high levels (well above 100 µT) that are explained by recognized biophysical mechanisms[ citation needed ]. External ELF magnetic fields induce electric fields and currents in the body which, at very high field strengths, cause nerve and muscle stimulation and changes in nerve cell excitability in the central nervous system. Health effects related to short-term, high-level exposure have been established and form the basis of two international exposure limit guidelines (ICNIRP, 1998; IEEE, 2002) such as 0.2-0.4 mA at 50/60 Hz. A study by Reilly in 1999 showed that the threshold for direct perception of exposure to ELF RF by human volunteer subjects started at around 2 to 5 kV/m at 60 Hz, with 10% of volunteers detecting the ELF exposure at this level. The percentage of detection increased to 50% of volunteers when the ELF level was raised from 7 to 20 kV/m. 5% of all test subjects considered the perception of ELF at these thresholds annoying. [36] ELF at human perceivable kV/m levels was said to create an annoying tingling sensation in the areas of the body in contact with clothing, particularly the arms, due to the induction of a surface charge by the ELF. 7% of volunteers described the spark discharges as painful where the subject was well-insulated and touched a grounded object within a 5 kV/m field. 50% of volunteers described a similar spark discharge as painful in a 10 kV/m field. [37]

Leukemia

There is some uncertainty regarding correlations between long-term, low-level exposure to ELF fields and a number of health effects, including leukemia in children. In October 2005, WHO convened a task group of scientific experts to assess any risks to health that might exist from "exposure to ELF electric and magnetic fields in the frequency range >0 to 100,000 Hz (100 kHz) in regards to childhood leukemia." [35] The long-term, low-level exposure is evaluated as average exposure to residential power-frequency magnetic field above 0.3 to 0.4 µT, and it is estimated that only between 1% and 4% of children live in such conditions. [35] Subsequently, in 2010, a pooled analysis of epidemiological evidence supported the hypothesis that exposure to power frequency magnetic fields is related to childhood leukemia. [38] Other studies have found no evidence to support the hypothesis that ELF exposure is a contributing factor to leukemia in children. [39] [40]

A 2014 study estimated the cases of childhood leukemia attributable to exposure to ELF magnetic fields in the European Union (EU27), assuming that correlations seen in epidemiological studies were causal. It reported that around 50-60 cases of childhood leukemia might be attributable to ELF magnetic fields annually, corresponding to between ~1.5% and ~2.0% of all incident cases of childhood leukemia occurring in the EU27 each year. [41] At present,[ when? ] however, ICNIRP and IEEE consider the scientific evidence related to possible health effects from long-term, low-level exposure to ELF fields insufficient to justify lowering these quantitative exposure limits. In summary, when all of the studies are evaluated together, the evidence suggesting that EMFs may contribute to an increased risk of cancer is very weak. [42] [43] Epidemiological studies suggest a possible association between long term occupational exposure to ELF and Alzheimer's disease. [44] [45]

Patents

See also

Related Research Articles

The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation and their respective wavelengths and photon energies.

Radiation waves or particles propagating through space or through a medium, carrying energy

In physics, radiation is the emission or transmission of energy in the form of waves or particles through space or through a material medium. This includes:

Surface wave mechanical wave that propagates along the interface between differing media

In physics, a surface wave is a 90 degree wave that propagates along the interface between differing media. A common example is gravity waves along the surface of liquids, such as ocean waves. Gravity waves can also occur within liquids, at the interface between two fluids with different densities. Elastic surface waves can travel along the surface of solids, such as Rayleigh or Love waves. Electromagnetic waves can also propagate as "surface waves" in that they can be guided along a refractive index gradient or along an interface between two media having different dielectric constants. In radio transmission, a ground wave is a guided wave that propagates close to the surface of the Earth.

High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program an ionospheric research program

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) was initiated as an ionospheric research program jointly funded by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It was designed and built by BAE Advanced Technologies (BAEAT). Its original purpose was to analyze the ionosphere and investigate the potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio communications and surveillance. As a university-owned facility, HAARP is a high-power, high-frequency transmitter used for study of the ionosphere.

Low frequency or LF is the ITU designation for radio frequencies (RF) in the range of 30 kilohertz (kHz) to 300 kHz. As its wavelengths range from ten kilometres to one kilometre, respectively, it is also known as the kilometre band or kilometre wave.

Medium frequency Frequencies between 300 kHz to 3 MHz

Medium frequency (MF) is the ITU designation for radio frequencies (RF) in the range of 300 kilohertz (kHz) to 3 megahertz (MHz). Part of this band is the medium wave (MW) AM broadcast band. The MF band is also known as the hectometer band as the wavelengths range from ten to one hectometer. Frequencies immediately below MF are denoted low frequency (LF), while the first band of higher frequencies is known as high frequency (HF). MF is mostly used for AM radio broadcasting, navigational radio beacons, maritime ship-to-shore communication, and transoceanic air traffic control.

Whistler (radio)

A whistler is a very low frequency or VLF electromagnetic (radio) wave generated by lightning. Frequencies of terrestrial whistlers are 1 kHz to 30 kHz, with a maximum amplitude usually at 3 kHz to 5 kHz. Although they are electromagnetic waves, they occur at audio frequencies, and can be converted to audio using a suitable receiver. They are produced by lightning strikes where the impulse travels along the Earth's magnetic field lines from one hemisphere to the other. They undergo dispersion of several kHz due to the slower velocity of the lower frequencies through the plasma environments of the ionosphere and magnetosphere. Thus they are perceived as a descending tone which can last for a few seconds. The study of whistlers categorizes them into Pure Note, Diffuse, 2-Hop, and Echo Train types.

Ultra low frequency

Ultra low frequency (ULF) is the ITU designation for the frequency range of electromagnetic waves between 300 hertz and 3 kilohertz. In magnetosphere science and seismology, alternative definitions are usually given, including ranges from 1 mHz to 100 Hz, 1 mHz to 1 Hz, and 10 mHz to 10 Hz. Frequencies above 3 Hz in atmospheric science are usually assigned to the ELF range.

Super low frequency (SLF) is electromagnetic waves in the frequency range between 30 hertz and 300 hertz. They have corresponding wavelengths of 10,000 to 1,000 kilometers. This frequency range includes the frequencies of AC power grids. Another conflicting designation which includes this frequency range is Extremely Low Frequency (ELF), which in some contexts refers to all frequencies up to 300 hertz.

Communication with submarines is difficult because radio waves do not travel well through good electrical conductors like salt water.

Ground dipole

In radio communication, a ground dipole, also referred to as an earth dipole antenna, transmission line antenna, and in technical literature as a horizontal electric dipole (HED), is a huge, specialized type of radio antenna that radiates extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic waves. It is the only type of transmitting antenna that can radiate practical amounts of power in the frequency range of 3 Hz to 3 kHz, commonly called ELF waves A ground dipole consists of two ground electrodes buried in the earth, separated by tens to hundreds of kilometers, linked by overhead transmission lines to a power plant transmitter located between them. Alternating current electricity flows in a giant loop between the electrodes through the ground, radiating ELF waves, so the ground is part of the antenna. To be most effective, ground dipoles must be located over certain types of underground rock formations. The idea was proposed by U.S. Dept. of Defense physicist Nicholas Christofilos in 1959.

Radio atmospheric

A radio atmospheric signal or sferic is a broadband electromagnetic impulse that occurs as a result of natural atmospheric lightning discharges. Sferics may propagate from their lightning source without major attenuation in the Earth–ionosphere waveguide, and can be received thousands of kilometres from their source. On a time-domain plot, a sferic may appear as a single high-amplitude spike in the time-domain data. On a spectrogram, a sferic appears as a vertical stripe that may extend from a few kHz to several tens of kHz, depending on atmospheric conditions.

The Earth–ionosphere waveguide refers to the phenomenon in which certain radio waves can propagate in the space between the ground and the boundary of the ionosphere. Because the ionosphere contains charged particles, it can behave as a conductor. The earth operates as a ground plane, and the resulting cavity behaves as a large waveguide.

James R. Wait was an electrical engineer and engineering physicist.

Project Sanguine

Project Sanguine was a U.S. Navy project, proposed in 1968 for communication with submerged submarines using extremely low frequency (ELF) radio waves. The originally proposed system, hardened to survive a nuclear attack, would have required a giant antenna covering two fifths of the state of Wisconsin. Because of protests and potential environmental impact, the proposed system was never implemented. A smaller, less hardened system consisting of two linked ELF transmitters located at Clam Lake, Wisconsin and Republic, Michigan was built beginning in 1982 and operated from 1989 until 2004. The system transmitted at a frequency of 76 Hz. At ELF frequencies the bandwidth of the transmission is very small, so the system could only send short coded text messages at a very low data rate. These signals were used to summon specific vessels to the surface to receive longer operational orders by ordinary radio or satellite communication.

This is an index to articles about terms used in discussion of radio propagation.

Non-ionizing radiation electromagnetic radiation that does not carry enough energy per quantum to ionize atoms or molecules

Non-ionizingradiation refers to any type of electromagnetic radiation that does not carry enough energy per quantum to ionize atoms or molecules—that is, to completely remove an electron from an atom or molecule. Instead of producing charged ions when passing through matter, non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation has sufficient energy only for excitation, the movement of an electron to a higher energy state. Ionizing radiation which has a higher frequency and shorter wavelength than nonionizing radiation, has many uses but can be a health hazard; exposure to it can cause burns, radiation sickness, cancer, and genetic damage. Using ionizing radiation requires elaborate radiological protection measures which in general are not required with nonionizing radiation.

References

Notes

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