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Authors: Gilli, Lorenzo* 
Sciacca, Umberto* 
Zuccheretti, Enrico* 
Title: Calibrating an Ionosonde for Ionospheric Attenuation Measurements
Issue Date: 15-May-2018
Series/Report no.: /18 (2018)
DOI: 10.3390/s18051564
Keywords: ionosonde
ionospheric attenuation
Subject Classification01.02. Ionosphere 
Abstract: Vertical ionospheric soundings have been performed at almost all ionospheric observatories with little attention to measuring the attenuation of the signal between transmission and reception. When the absorption has been determined, this has been achieved by comparing the received power after the first and second reflections, but this method has some limitations due to the unknown reflection coefficient of the ground and the non-continuous presence of the second reflection. This paper deals with a different method based on precise calibration of the sounding system, allowing determination of absolute signal attenuation after a single reflection. This approach is affected by a systematic error due to imperfect calibration of the antennas, but when the focus of interest is to measure a trend over a specified period, it is very accurate. The article describes how calibration was implemented, the measurement output formats, and finally it presents some results from a meaningful set of measurements in order to demonstrate what this method can accomplish.
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