Modifying the Ionosphere with Intense Radio Waves

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Science  15 Oct 1971:
Vol. 174, Issue 4006, pp. 245-254
DOI: 10.1126/science.174.4006.245


The ionospheric modification experiments provide an opportunity to better understand the aeronomy of the natural ionosphere and also afford the control of a naturally occurring plasma, which will make possible further progress in plasma physics. The ionospheric modification by powerful radio waves is analogous to studies of laser and microwave heating of laboratory plasmas (20). " Anomalous" reflectivity effects similar to the observed ionospheric attenuation have already been noted in plasmas modulated by microwaves, and anomalous heating may have been observed in plasmas irradiated by lasers. Contacts have now been established between the workers in these diverse areas, which span a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Perhaps ionospheric modification will also be a valuable technique in radio communications.