# Ultra low frequency

Last updated
Frequency range 0.3 to 3 kHz 1,000 to 100 km

Ultra low frequency (ULF) is the ITU designation [1] 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, [2] 1 mHz to 1 Hz, [3] and 10 mHz to 10 Hz. [4] Frequencies above 3 Hz in atmospheric science are usually assigned to the ELF range.

Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit of time. It is also referred to as temporal frequency, which emphasizes the contrast to spatial frequency and angular frequency. The period is the duration of time of one cycle in a repeating event, so the period is the reciprocal of the frequency. For example: if a newborn baby's heart beats at a frequency of 120 times a minute, its period—the time interval between beats—is half a second. Frequency is an important parameter used in science and engineering to specify the rate of oscillatory and vibratory phenomena, such as mechanical vibrations, audio signals (sound), radio waves, and light.

The hertz (symbol: Hz) is the derived unit of frequency in the International System of Units (SI) and is defined as one cycle per second. It is named after Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, the first person to provide conclusive proof of the existence of electromagnetic waves. Hertz are commonly expressed in multiples: kilohertz (103 Hz, kHz), megahertz (106 Hz, MHz), gigahertz (109 Hz, GHz), terahertz (1012 Hz, THz), petahertz (1015 Hz, PHz), exahertz (1018 Hz, EHz), and zettahertz (1021 Hz, ZHz).

A magnetosphere is a region of space surrounding an astronomical object in which charged particles are manipulated or affected by that object's magnetic field. It is created by a planet having an active interior dynamo.

## Contents

Many types of waves in the ULF frequency band can be observed in the magnetosphere and on the ground. These waves represent important physical processes in the near-Earth plasma environment. The speed of the ULF waves is often associated with the Alfvén velocity that depends on the ambient magnetic field and plasma mass density.

This band is used for communications in mines, as it can penetrate the earth. [5]

Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein, seam, reef or placer deposit. These deposits form a mineralized package that is of economic interest to the miner.

## Earthquakes

Some monitoring stations have reported that earthquakes are sometimes preceded by a spike in ULF activity. A remarkable example of this occurred before the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in California, [6] although a subsequent study indicates that this was little more than a sensor malfunction. [7] On December 9, 2010, geoscientists announced that the DEMETER satellite observed a dramatic increase in ULF radio waves over Haiti in the month before the magnitude 7.0  Mw 2010 earthquake. [8] Researchers are attempting to learn more about this correlation to find out whether this method can be used as part of an early warning system for earthquakes.

The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake occurred in Northern California on October 17 at 5:04 p.m. local time. The shock was centered in The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park approximately 10 mi (16 km) northeast of Santa Cruz on a section of the San Andreas Fault System and was named for the nearby Loma Prieta Peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains. With an Mw magnitude of 6.9 and a maximum Modified Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent), the shock was responsible for 63 deaths and 3,757 injuries. The Loma Prieta segment of the San Andreas Fault System had been relatively inactive since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake until two moderate foreshocks occurred in June 1988 and again in August 1989.

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

DEMETER is a French micro-satellite operated by CNES devoted to the investigation of the ionospheric disturbances due to seismic and volcanic activity.

## Earth mode communications

ULF has been used by the military for secure communications through the ground. NATO AGARD publications from the 1960s detailed many such systems, although it is possible that the published papers left a lot unsaid about what actually was developed secretly for defense purposes. Communications through the ground using conduction fields is known as "Earth-Mode" communications and was first used in World War I. Radio amateurs and electronics hobbyists have used this mode for limited range communications using audio power amplifiers connected to widely spaced electrode pairs hammered into the soil. At the receiving end, the signal is detected as a weak electric current between a further pair of electrodes. Using weak signal reception methods with PC-based DSP filtering with extremely narrow bandwidths, it is possible to receive signals at a range of a few kilometers with a transmitting power of 10-100 W and electrode spacing of around 10–50 m.

The Advisory Group for Aerospace Research and Development (AGARD) was an agency of NATO that existed from 1952 to 1996.

Classified information is material that a government body deems to be sensitive information that must be protected. Access is restricted by law or regulation to particular groups of people with the necessary security clearance and need to know, and intentional mishandling of the material can incur criminal penalties. A formal security clearance is required to view or handle classified documents or to access classified data. The clearance process requires a satisfactory background investigation. Documents and other information must be properly marked "by the author" with one of several (hierarchical) levels of sensitivity—e.g. restricted, confidential, secret and top secret. The choice of level is based on an impact assessment; governments have their own criteria, which include how to determine the classification of an information asset, and rules on how to protect information classified at each level. This often includes security clearances for personnel handling the information. Although "classified information" refers to the formal categorization and marking of material by level of sensitivity, it has also developed a sense synonymous with "censored" in US English. A distinction is often made between formal security classification and privacy markings such as "commercial in confidence". Classifications can be used with additional keywords that give more detailed instructions on how data should be used or protected.

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

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

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in the geomagnetic field is conventionally referred to as Earth's field NMR (EFNMR). EFNMR is a special case of low field NMR.

A voice frequency (VF) or voice band is one of the frequencies, within part of the audio range, that is being used for the transmission of speech.

## Related Research Articles

Magnetohydrodynamics is the study of the magnetic properties and behaviour of electrically conducting fluids. Examples of such magneto­fluids include plasmas, liquid metals, salt water, and electrolytes. The word "magneto­hydro­dynamics" is derived from magneto- meaning magnetic field, hydro- meaning water, and dynamics meaning movement. The field of MHD was initiated by Hannes Alfvén, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1970.

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.

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.

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.

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 (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.

In radio, longwave, long wave or long-wave, and commonly abbreviated LW, refers to parts of the radio spectrum with wavelengths longer than what was originally called the medium-wave broadcasting band. The term is historic, dating from the early 20th century, when the radio spectrum was considered to consist of longwave (LW), medium-wave (MW), and short-wave (SW) radio bands. Most modern radio systems and devices use wavelengths which would then have been considered 'ultra-short'.

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.

Radio propagation is the behavior of radio waves as they travel, or are propagated, from one point to another, or into various parts of the atmosphere. As a form of electromagnetic radiation, like light waves, radio waves are affected by the phenomena of reflection, refraction, diffraction, absorption, polarization, and scattering. Understanding the effects of varying conditions on radio propagation has many practical applications, from choosing frequencies for international shortwave broadcasters, to designing reliable mobile telephone systems, to radio navigation, to operation of radar systems.

Super low frequency (SLF) is the ITU designation for 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 a field within military communications that presents technical challenges and requires specialized technology. Because radio waves do not travel well through good electrical conductors like salt water, submerged submarines are cut off from radio communication with their command authorities at ordinary radio frequencies. Submarines can surface and raise an antenna above the sea level, then use ordinary radio transmissions, however this makes them vulnerable to detection by anti-submarine warfare forces. Early submarines during World War 2 mostly traveled on the surface because of their limited underwater speed and endurance; they dived mainly to evade immediate threats. During the Cold War, however, nuclear-powered submarines were developed that could stay submerged for months. Transmitting messages to these submarines is an active area of research. Very low frequency (VLF) radio waves can penetrate seawater a few hundred feet, and many navies use powerful VLF transmitters for submarine communications. A few nations have built transmitters which use extremely low frequency (ELF) radio waves, which can penetrate seawater to reach submarines at operating depths, but these require huge antennas.

An auroral chorus is a series of electromagnetic waves at frequencies which resemble chirps, whistles, and quasi-musical sounds in predominantly rising tones when played as pressure waves (sound), which are created by geomagnetic storms also responsible for the auroras. The electromagnetic waves are a type of natural radio waves, vibrations of electric and magnetic energy occurring at the same frequency as sound.

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.

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.

Robert A. Helliwell was an electrical engineer and professor at Stanford University. He was one of the pioneering scientists in the study of whistlers and related ionospheric phenomena.

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

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.

## References

1. "Rec. ITU-R V.431-7, Nomenclature of the frequency and wavelength bands used in telecommunications" (PDF). ITU. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
2. V. A. Pilipenko, "ULF waves on the ground and in space", Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics, Volume 52, Issue 12, December 1990, pp. 1193–1209, ISSN   0021-9169, doi : 10.1016/0021-9169(90)90087-4.
3. T. Bösinger and S. L. Shalimov, "On ULF Signatures of Lightning Discharges", Space Science Reviews, Volume 137, Issue 1, pp. 521–532, June 2008, doi : 10.1007/s11214-008-9333-4.
4. O. Molchanov, A. Schekotov, E. Fedorov, G. Belyaev, and E. Gordeev, "Preseismic ULF electromagnetic effect from observation at Kamchatka", Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, Volume 3, pp. 203–209, 2003
5. Fraser-Smith, Antony C.; Bernardi, A.; McGill, P. R.; Ladd, M. E.; Helliwell, R. A.; Villard, Jr., O. G. (August 1990). "Low-Frequency Magnetic Field Measurements Near the Epicenter of the Ms 7.1 Loma Prieta Earthquake" (PDF). Geophysical Research Letters . 17 (9): 1465–1468. Bibcode:1990GeoRL..17.1465F. doi:10.1029/GL017i009p01465. ISSN   0094-8276. OCLC   1795290 . Retrieved December 18, 2010.
6. Thomas, J. N.; Love, J. J.; Johnston, M. J. S. (April 2009). "On the reported magnetic precursor of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake". Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors. 173 (3–4): 207–215. Bibcode:2009PEPI..173..207T. doi:10.1016/j.pepi.2008.11.014.
7. KentuckyFC (December 9, 2010). "Spacecraft Saw ULF Radio Emissions over Haiti before January Quake". Physics arXiv Blog . Cambridge, Massachusetts: TechnologyReview.com . Retrieved December 18, 2010.External link in `|website=` (help)