Space-to-space very low frequency radio transmission in the magnetosphere using the DSX and Arase satellites

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Very low frequency (VLF) waves (about 3–30 kHz) in the Earth’s magnetosphere interact strongly with energetic electrons and are a key element in controlling dynamics of the Van Allen radiation belts. Bistatic very low frequency (VLF) transmission experiments have recently been conducted in the magnetosphere using the high-power VLF transmitter on the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Demonstration and Science Experiments (DSX) spacecraft and an electric field receiver onboard the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Arase (ERG) spacecraft. On 4 September 2019, the spacecraft came within 410 km of each other and were in geomagnetic alignment. During this time, VLF signals were successfully transmitted from DSX to Arase, marking the first successful reception of a space-to-space VLF signal. Arase measurements were consistent with field-aligned propagation as expected from linear cold plasma theory. Details of the transmission event and comparison to VLF propagation model predictions are presented. The capability to directly inject VLF waves into near-Earth space provides a new way to study the dynamics of the radiation belts, ushering in a new era of space experimentation. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]




McCollough, J. P., Miyoshi, Y., Ginet, G. P., Johnston, W. R., Su, Y. J., Starks, M. J., … Langhals, J. T. (2022, December 1). Space-to-space very low frequency radio transmission in the magnetosphere using the DSX and Arase satellites. Earth, Planets and Space. Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH.

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