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Sensors 2017, 17(5), 946; doi:10.3390/s17050946

Implementation of an Electronic Ionosonde to Monitor the Earth’s Ionosphere via a Projected Column through USRP

1
Geopositioning Laboratory, Universidad Del Valle, Cali 760036, Colombia
2
ETSI Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid 28040, Spain
3
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Universidad Del Valle, Cali 760036, Colombia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 20 February 2017 / Revised: 31 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 April 2017 / Published: 25 April 2017

Abstract

This document illustrates the processes carried out for the construction of an ionospheric sensor or ionosonde, from a universal software radio peripheral (USRP), and its programming using GNU-Radio and MATLAB. The development involved the in-depth study of the characteristics of the ionosphere, to apply the corresponding mathematical models used in the radar-like pulse compression technique and matched filters, among others. The sensor operates by firing electromagnetic waves in a frequency sweep, which are reflected against the ionosphere and are received on its return by the receiver of the instrument, which calculates the reflection height through the signal offset. From this information and a series of calculations, the electron density of the terrestrial ionosphere could be obtained. Improving the SNR of received echoes reduces the transmission power to a maximum of 400 W. The resolution associated with the bandwidth of the signal used is approximately 5 km, but this can be improved, taking advantage of the fact that the daughterboards used in the USRP allow a higher sampling frequency than the one used in the design of this experiment. View Full-Text
Keywords: ionosonde; ionosphere; radar; SDR; USRP ionosonde; ionosphere; radar; SDR; USRP
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Barona Mendoza, J.J.; Quiroga Ruiz, C.F.; Pinedo Jaramillo, C.R. Implementation of an Electronic Ionosonde to Monitor the Earth’s Ionosphere via a Projected Column through USRP. Sensors 2017, 17, 946.

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