Title: Barium Cloud Test in Peru
Corporate Author: AIR FORCE WRIGHT AERONAUTICAL LABS WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
Report Date: NOV 1981
Abstract : In an effort to investigate the mechanism causing ionospheric irregularities to form in the equatorial region, an experiment was designed by the Max Planck Institute involving the release of two barium clouds in the F region just after sunset. (image right of sunset in Lima, Peru, from susanpmucha.com)
The electric field resulting from the two barium clouds was expected to trigger an ionospheric irregularity which would propagate up through the ionosphere as a depletion bubble. (image left of cloud anomaly, from vinesbranch.com)
This report describes an attempt to observe the ionospheric irregularity as it passed through the line-of-sight between an aircraft and a communication satellite.
The aircraft was equipped with a UHF receiver which measured phase and amplitude of the downlink Satellite Signal.
Due to the release of the barium 50 km below the planned altitude no significant ionospheric irregularities were formed. (image right of: Machu Picchu, Peru, from Toddadams.net)
The aircraft measured minor amplitude variation (1dB) and no significant phase variations resulting from ionospheric irregularities triggered by the barium release.