Radio tomography: A new experimental technique

Sian Pryse

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67 Citations (SciVal)


The technique of radio tomography has developed during the past fifteen years from a theoretical concept to an established experimental method, used for geophysical investigations ofsolar-terrestrial processes. It also has potential in the mapping and modelling of the ionised atmosphere for application to practical radio systems. The method involves measurement of the electron content of the ionosphere along a large number of intersecting satellite-to-receiver ray paths, with tomographic inversion of the data to give a two-dimensional image of the spatial distribution of plasma density in the region of ray-path intersection. The emphasis in this review is on experimental tomographic observations, which have highlighted the capabilities and potential of the technique. Examples are presented from the equatorial sector where the equatorial anomaly is a significant feature, the mid-latitude sector where radio propagation is often influenced by the presence of the main ionisation trough, and the auroral and polar regions where footprints of solar-terrestrial coupling processes are frequently to be seen.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-38
Number of pages38
JournalSurveys in Geophysics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • auroral blobs
  • dayside high-latitude trough
  • equatorial anomaly
  • field-aligned currents
  • ionised atmosphere
  • ionospheric cusp
  • magnetospheric footprints
  • mid-latitude trough
  • polar hole
  • polar patches
  • radio tomography
  • travelling ionospheric disturbances


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