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Instrument: TBB : Tri-Band Beacon
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Associated Platforms

Spectral/Frequency Information
Wavelength Keyword: Radio
Spectral/Frequency Coverage/Range: 150 MHz, 400 MHz, and 1067 MHz

Related Data Sets
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[Text Source: Paul A. Bernhardt 1, Craig A. Selcher 2, Santi Basu 3, Gary Bust 4 and Steven C Reising 5, "Atmospheric Studies with the Tri-Band Beacon Instrument on the COSMIC Constellation", TAO, Vol. 11, No. 1, 291-312, March 2000, ]

The primary objective of the Tri-Band Beacon experiment on COSMIC is to study the electron density in the Earth's ionosphere. This is analyzing total electron content (TEC) data to produce electron densities as either two-dimensional maps or one-dimensional profiles. The earth's upper atmosphere contains a partially ionized plasma that is constantly changing under the influence of solar extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation, recombination chemistry, neutral winds, and electric fields (Rishbeth and Garriott, 1969; Kelley, 1989). The ionosphere extends from 50 km to above 1000-km altitude with variations in ion species balanced by equal densities of electrons. At altitudes below 150 km, the ions are primarily molecular. The peak densities are found in the F-layer near 300 to 400 km where atomic oxygen is the primary ion species. Above 1500-km altitude, the plasmasphere is composed of atomic hydrogen and helium ions along with an equal number of electrons to maintain neutrality. The atmospheric region known as the ionosphere is both important and complex. The ionosphere affects terres- trial radio signals. Satellite to ground links are affected by electron density irregularities that can degrade received signal strength. Communication, radar, and navigation systems often rely on predictions and measurements of ionospheric propagation conditions. Over-the-horizon radars require accurate models of the ionosphere to determine target locations

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Instrument Logistics
Instrument Owner: NSF/UCAR