Ionozond "catches" space weather

N. Danilkin. Dr. physical and mathematical Sciences, Professor at the Institute of Applied Geophysics,
A. Ivanov. "News of Cosmonautics"

So near space we finally leave. For a long time or forever - time will tell. Supporters of saving the station "Mir" and their opponents long "saber-rattling". The main argument of opponents of manned space flight - from a practical point of view, space supposedly brings good man. Actual results in areas such as communications, meteorology, navigation, gave the unmanned space exploration. So far not met expectations get in the cosmos pharmaceuticals, biotechnological materials, ultra-pure crystals, etc. But there are other examples, some space experiments started on unmanned spacecraft, tend, as technology advances, the transition to the manned cosmonautics. Let's speak only about one of these experiments.

Solar flares and other non-stationary processes in solar activity cause permanent variability of Earth's geomagnetic field and its ionosphere. Ionospheric storms and indignation should be carefully monitored, as well as to predict future changes in the Earth's ionosphere. Here is just one, but a very striking example of the consequences of lack of proper monitoring and changes in the ionosphere. In 1979, a giant solar flare has generated currents in the ionosphere with a capacity of millions of amperes, which "cut down" the most powerful looped grid preparation and distribution of electricity in Canada by as much as 12 hours!

In addition, knowledge of the characteristics of the ionosphere is necessary for a successful and high-quality radio. Ionospheric disturbances and tracked for biomedical forecasts. For example, revealed an increase in the number of heart attacks by 13% during severe ionospheric storms. But in recent years, scientists have concluded that the monitoring of "space weather" makes it possible to predict an earthquake.

Equipment "Ionozond" on the external surface
module "Priroda". The pintles of antenna start to be put forward
Equipment "Ionosond" was delivered to station "Mir" and in the case of the successful result of experiments could compensate the shortage of ionosphere stations. The complex of equipment "Ionosond" consists of strictly ionosonde - the radar, which works in the range of the plasma frequencies of the ionosphere (300 kHz -15.95 MHz); the device of the formation of digital ionograms, coding and operational- memory device fulfilling functions; and the transmitter of the signals of scientific telemetry, intended for the operational discharge of information to the ground ionosphere stations. The antenna of "ionosonde" is one of the most complex elements of device. Complexity in the fact that in this wavelength range all external surfaces complexity in the fact that in this wavelength range all external surfaces station "Mir". However, changing the length of pintles, it is possible to select that most being suitable for the configuration of the external surface of station, that also was made in the course of experiment "ionosonde", begun on 12 August, 1998, of approximately two months was produced the adjustment of antenna by participants in EO-26 - by Gennadi Padalka and Sergey Avdeyev (certainly, with the aid of the producers of experiment - scientists of the Institute of applied geophysics and Rostov university), was selected the optimum length of arms, and then operational ionospheric information was transferred to different regions of planet.
Source: Ионозонд «ловит» космическую погоду (Novosti Kosmonavtiki, No.8 1999)
RUSSIA / MIR Voice of America (FAS)
Cosmonaut Sergei Avdeyev, who holds the record for the most time spent in space -- more than two-years -- says he is disappointed because there is important space research that could be conducted on Mir. For example, crewmembers say they witnessed atmospheric phenomena prior to the August 17th earthquake in Turkey, but that their monitoring equipment was too new and untested for them to predict an earthquake.
PrirodaTake a Tour of Mir (PBS Online)

ガチャピン宇宙へ | ガチャピン宇宙へ行く | Soyuz TM-28 | 宇宙へ行った人気キャラクター(その2)---ガチャピン(前編)(後編)

Source: New ionograms observed by satellite radio sounding from below of the F-layer maximum (N. P. Danilkin)
Ionozond (Institute of applied geophysics)
Ionozond represents a complex of onboard and ground means for maintenance of global monitoring a circumterraneous space with a method of radiosounding of an atmosphere of the Earth with nizkoorbitalnyh piloted objects.

Structure of the equipment:
Purpose of equipment Ionozonda.

It is intended for pulse sounding an external atmosphere with the purpose of reception of the operative information on its condition.

Management of equipment Ionozonda also I shall eat the control telemetering information it is carried out through PEVM-KSI and PAO-KSI from structure STKU "Sigma".

Structure of equipment Ionozonda:
  1. Equipment AI 804:
    - AI 011 – the transceiver intended for formation of probing signals and reception of a signal reflected from an ionosphere;
    - AI 502 – the block of digital processing intended for coding and transformation of the information with the subsequent transfer in STKU:
  2. The analog transmitter SORS-D working on frequency of 137 MHz and intended for transfer to the Earth of complex video signal in an analog kind in a zone of radio visibility ground ionostantsy:
  3. Aerial Ionozonda.
Source: Модуль "Природа" (

Institute of Applied Geophysics
6.The ionospheric radio-sounding experiment on the MIR Space Station. An ionospheric sounder is installed on the MIR space station. One of the problems being solved is a real-time monitoring of the ionosphere and the determination of radio communication parameters. In this mode, the ionospheric sounder makes an ionospheric radiosounding on order from the ground and simultaneously transmits the resultant ionogram to the ground over a special radio channel with the frequency 137.85 MHz. This ionogram information can be received using a simple fixed antenna and receiver attached to a computer. All information processing and radio communication parameter calculations are made on this computer. The target information is the estimated Maximum Usable Frequency (MUF) and Lowest Usable Frequency (LUF) for an ionospheric radio communication link.

N.P.Danilkin, The MIR space station ionospheric sounder, The Radio Science Bulletin, March 1999, No 288, pp. 14 - 17.
Source: Russian Federal Hydrometeorological Service (Planetary Geophysics HomePage)

The ionosphere was investigated at "Mir" manned space station during 1998-1999 by the method of radio sounding from extremely low heights of 340-370 km. The experimental results have confirmed the stated earlier hypothesis about an opportunity of definition of all necessary ionosphere parameters for a radio communication at an ionosonde location at these heights. At sounding from heights lower than a maximum of ionization were received new unknown earlier ionograms. The quantitative data processing has shown, that these ionograms testify the existence of macro scale and rather specific ionospheric heterogeneities.
Danilkin N.P. The results of the satellite radio sounding of the ionosphere below the F-layer maximum. International Journal of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, 2001, vol. 3, ″ 2, pp.173-180.
Danilkin N.P., Review of the results of the satellite radio sounding of the ionosphere in the vicinity of the F-layer maximum Proc. GA URSI, August 2002, (Session: Gji); ″625;
Danilkin N.P. and Kotonaeva N.G., The features of ionospheric radio sounding performed using the "Mir" space station; Radiophysics and Quantum Electronics, Vol. 45, No. 6, 2002, pp. 431-439.
Source: NATIONAL REPORT Presented to the IAGAeronomy of the IUGG 1999 - 2002 (NATIONAL GEOPHYSICAL COMMITTEE)

Результаты исследования ионосферы с ОК «Мир» | Results study of the ionosphere with ok “Mir” (Novosti Kosmonavtiki, No.11 2001)
Микроспутник «Компас» | Micro-satellite “Compass”
Прогноз землетрясений из космосаEarthquake forecast from space (Novosti Kosmonavtiki, No.11 2002)
Earthquake Forecast From Space

The experience with Ionozond instrument obtained in the last years of Mir operations points to possibility of registering certain earthquake precursors from a low-orbit manned space station.
* 関連:The possibility of active experiments with artificial monochromatic infrasound waves on ionospheric altitude
     Investigation of mesosphere disturbances caused by infrasonic waves from ground-based source (IUGG 2003)
     Discussion paper: Macroscale ionospheric irregularities registered by the Mir onboard ionosonde (Int. J. Geomagn. Aeron., 2004)

MIR Space Station Topside Sounding near Taiwan (TAO, 2001)
MIR space station topside sounder: possibilities for equatorial anomaly study (International EPIC Symposium, 2002)
What is the best height for the topside sounding: 1000 km or 350 km? (URSI, 2002)
Interpretation of a Statistical Analysis of Variations in the foF2 Critical Frequency before Earthquakes Based on Data from Chung-Li Ionospheric Station (Taiwan) (Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, Vol. 44, No. 1, 2004)
Retarded lower trace (RLT) on satellite ionograms - a new method of studying of the ionospheric irregularity (Danilkin, URSI GA 2005)
RLT ionograms, macro-scale irregularities and forecast of earthquakes
Radio sounding with the Mir space station as continuation of the radio sounding experiment with the Interkosmos-19 spacecraft. Kotonaeva N.G. EK Fedorova 2009 (IZMIRAN)
Радиозондирование с ОКК "Мир" как продолжение эксперимента по радиозондированию с КА "Интеркосмос-19" Котонаева Н. Г. ГУ ИПГ им. Е.К.Федорова 2009 г.

There was a fresh understanding of the magnetic fields and lines around the Earth (Figure 7.3). Intercosmos 19 had a sequel, for, in 1998, a replica of its topside sounder was flown up to the manned space station Mir and used to compile an ionospheric map from the much lower altitude of 350 km [12].
Perhaps the most remarkable outcome of the Ionozond missions was the discovery that Earthquakes were preceded by electrical waves several hours before they struck, opening the door to the possibility of predicting earthquakes and thereby saving countless lives.
Source: Russian Space Probes: Scientific Discoveries and Future Missions, Springer, 2011
Heliogeophysical Research
The journal "Heliogeophysical Research" is a network electronic publication. Published since 2012. Certificate of registration Al № FSС77-50054 dated May 29, 2012, ISSN 2304-7380.
  • Technologies and results of investigations of the magnetosphere, the Earth's magnetic field and solar activity
  • Technologies and results of ionospheric sounding and propagation of radio waves Results of studies of geophysical risks
  • Technical regulation and metrology in applied geophysics
  • Heliogeophysical service of Roshydromet
  • Studies of the middle and upper atmosphere, the interaction of geospheres
  • Materials of conferences on the problems of heliogeophysics
  • Source: Astroparticle, Particle, Space Physics and Detectors for Physics Applications, World Scientific Publishing Company, 2014
    Ионозонд-ТГК (Tsniimash)
    Work Ionosonde on "Mir" was pioneering. It is made at a level outstripping the world level. Reported at prestigious international conferences (General Assembly of the International Radio Union, France in 1996, Canada in 1999, Holland in 2002, India in 2005, 10th International Conference on Ionospheric Radio Systems and Techniques, UK, 2006 and others.) which has been recognized. The work is presented in a number of publications in international and national press. The effectiveness of this work, including and when compared to the same level that occurred at the beginning of the work is determined by two factors. Firstly, in the XXI century, the basic information on the state of the global ionosphere will bring space rather than terrestrial ionospheric stations. Second, the fact that the establishment of a space system for global control of the ionosphere is no need to proceed from the need to accommodate the spacecraft systems at altitudes of 1,000 kilometers or more, and you can use any orbital altitude and therefore more - much more Pradesh? Vye spacecraft and less expensive space systems. In addition, work on the manned space complexes enables real cyclical replacement of old or damaged ionosondes space and thus makes e? really permanent.
    2nd International Scientific and Practical Conference "Scientific Research and Experiments on the ISS"(Tsniimash, 2015.4.9-11)

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