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Penetration of lightning MF signals to the upper ionosphere over VLF ground-based transmitters

Abstract : The MF data recorded by the low-altitude satellite DEMETER have been used to survey the MF waves around the Earth. A global map of the MF emissions indicates that there exists a wave activity in the frequency range 2-2.5 MHz above the main powerful VLF ground-based transmitters operating in the frequency range 18-50 kHz. It is shown that this is due to the high-frequency part of whistlers induced by the thunderstorm activity. They can penetrate trough the ionosphere at the locations of the transmitters because these transmitters induce large ionospheric perturbations. This means that an integrated map over several months is able to show these MF emissions above all main VLF transmitters. The discrepancy between intensities of the emissions in winter and summer (in the Northern Hemisphere) is explained by considering the geographic variations of the plasma frequency below the satellite. It is shown that the MF waves spread in longitude in the hemisphere opposite to the VLF transmitters.
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Michel Parrot, U.S. Inan, N. G. Lehtinen, Jean-Louis Pinçon. Penetration of lightning MF signals to the upper ionosphere over VLF ground-based transmitters. Journal of Geophysical Research Space Physics, American Geophysical Union/Wiley, 2009, 114 (A12), pp.n/a-n/a. ⟨10.1029/2009JA014598⟩. ⟨insu-03036088⟩

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