History of Ionospheric Modification at HF and Arecibo

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A new HF ionospheric modification “heater” facility has been completed at Arecibo that replaced the prior Islote heater that was destroyed by Hurricane Georges in 1998. It was decided to use the 1000 foot dish for this new heater antenna instead of rebuilding the previous installation. This makes it possible to have all research activities with ionospheric modification including the 430 MHz incoherent scatter radar (ISR) to be located at the Observatory. This will be perfect to provide the ability to study the upper atmosphere, study plasma effects, and other future experiments.



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  • 154 Summit Street, Newark, NJ 07102
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • United States 07102
  • Building: ECEC
  • Room Number: 202
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  • Ajay K. Poddar, Ph.: 201-560-3806, email:akpoddar@ieee.org

    Durga Misra, +1-973-596-5739, email: dmisra@ieee.org

    Edip Niver, email: edip.niver@njit.edu

    Anisha Apte, email: anisha_apte@ieee.org

  • Co-sponsored by ED/CAS, AP/MTT17
  • Starts 17 October 2019 12:00 PM
  • Ends 08 November 2019 12:00 PM
  • All times are America/New_York
  • No Admission Charge
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  Speakers

Prof.  Jmaes Breakall
Prof. Jmaes Breakall of Penn State University

Topic:

History of Ionospheric Modification at HF and Arecibo

A new HF ionospheric modification “heater” facility has been completed at Arecibo that replaced the prior Islote heater that was destroyed by Hurricane Georges in 1998. It was decided to use the 1000 foot dish for this new heater antenna instead of rebuilding the previous installation. This makes it possible to have all research activities with ionospheric modification including the 430 MHz incoherent scatter radar (ISR) to be located at the Observatory. This will be perfect to provide the ability to study the upper atmosphere, study plasma effects, and other future experiments. Historically, ionospheric modification has been carried out before at Arecibo using a crossed-log periodic antenna hanging from the platform. This antenna had logistic and electrical arcing problems, and that was what led to the construction of the Islote facility on the north coast of Puerto Rico. The Islote facility also had logistic and arcing problems from both the wires in the antenna and the wire cage pseudo-coaxial transmission lines. The transmission lines were upgraded, and this improved performance and reliability greatly just before the hurricane destroyed the facility. The first feasible concept to be considered for the current design was a dual-band crossed-Yagi that would hang with cables from pulleys and winches on the three support towers. The total power for each polarization would then travel up a 4-wire open transmission line from below. A combining and phasing system design was formulated for the six 100 kilowatt transmitters in this concept. It was later decided to use another design based on a Cassegrain concept of a phased-array at the bottom of the dish feeding energy to a sub-reflector mesh hanging from cables and winches from the three support towers. This presentation will describe some of the history of other modification facilities and those at Arecibo and the present antenna design that is currently in operation at the new Arecibo facility.  

Biography:

Dr. Jim Breakall holds a doctorate in Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, and has over 45 years of experience in numerical electromagnetics and antennas. Dr. Breakall is an antenna subject matter expert responsible for conducting cutting edge antenna research and development in support of the Army Communications Electronics Research, Engineering and Development Center (CERDEC) for a variety of communications systems integrated into air, ground and dismounted platforms.

A representative sampling of his specific tasks include: conducting material research in meta-materials and nanotechnologies to enable innovative conformal and embedded antennas (received a patent this year); modeling and building a prototype using a new type of log-periodic antenna structure; simulating and making measurements in anechoic chambers; investigating Tropospheric Propagation; investigating optimization of wideband matching networks for improving antenna performance; analyzing magnetic ferrite metamaterials for low-profile UHF wideband antenna design; conducting propagation experiments in underground (tunnels, caves, etc.) environments and providing across the board expertise for antenna modeling, design, fabrication, calibration, radio propagation, and testing.

Dr. Breakall is a professor of Electrical Engineering at Penn State since 1989. In addition to his senior and graduate antenna courses teaching assignments and thesis advisor for numerous doctoral and master’s candidates, he performed research studies for numerous government agencies in the antenna field. A representative sampling of these studies include:

  • Using the Numerical Electromagnetics Code (NEC), an antenna modeling program that Dr. Breakall developed on a team at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL),he led a group that modeled the antenna characteristics and propagation of the Navy Take Charge and Move Out (TACAMO) system used to provide communication to submarines at Very Low Frequencies (VLF). They modeled the antenna wires which trail at up to five miles from a Boeing E 6A jet aircraft.
  • Breakall served as a critical member of a project team to design and construct the world's most powerful (5 gigawatts ERP) and sophisticated HF ionospheric modification facility (180 antennas phased array) for the Air Force and Navy, High Frequency Active Auroral Research (HAARP), leading him to design a unique antenna invention- the Three Dimensional Frequency Independent Phased Array (3D FIPA), which was awarded a U.S. patent.
  • Breakall led work on several programs with the Naval Security Group Command to study high frequency (HF) antenna sitting in irregular terrain and HF propagation in auroral and equatorial regions. For this Command, he led the HF Polar Equatorial Near-Vertical Incidence Experiment (PENEX), which was an important project, the first of its kind, to study HF propagation through the Arctic ionosphere for determination of ray paths, time delay, signal strength, Doppler, etc. which involved transmitters and receivers at several sites in Alaska and the continental U.S.
  • Breakall’s work at a multi-national Swedish workshop led to the design and construction of a HF ionospheric radar facility known as High frequency, High power, High latitude, Heating and Ionospheric Scatter (HISCAT), incorporating his 3D FIPA invention as the antenna configuration for the facility.
  • While on a sabbatical in 1997, he worked at Bellcore on wireless communications and EMI/EMC and at the Arecibo Observatory 1000 foot dish antenna in Puerto Rico designing new wideband feeds for the upgraded Gregorian reflector system.
  • Breakall was awarded an American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Navy Summer Faculty position at the Naval Air Warfare Center-Aircraft Division (NAWC-AD) (Patuxent River Naval Air Station) and worked on a UHF Electronically Scanned Array (UESA) for the antenna design on E3C Hawkeye radar dome aircraft. He and his research group were awarded a contract with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and NAWC-AD contract to optimize and build a scale model of the UESA antenna.
  • Breakall worked on the design of a HF ionosonde antenna and digital system for measuring the ionosphere at the Arecibo Observatory.
  • He was awarded a project for the design of a new HF Cassegrain feed (300 megawatts ERP) at the Arecibo Observatory 1000 foot dish antenna with the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Dr. Breakall was actively involved in the founding of the Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society (ACES), is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Antennas and Propagation Society, IEEE Broadcast Technology Society, Eta Kappa Nu, International Union of Radio Science Commission B, IEEE Wave Propagation and Standards Committee, and an Associate Editor for the Radio Science Journal. He has a patent for a low-profile antenna for AM broadcasting called the Kinstar which is currently sold commercially around the world by Kintronics, Inc. and won a R & D 100 Award. He invented a concept for HF and higher frequencies called the Optimized Wideband Antenna (OWA) Yagi that is used exclusively as the antenna of choice for Amateur Radio operators and commercial applications and worked on a project using HF antennas and propagation analysis for what is known as high frequency stock trading to beat the speed of fiber optic lines by using the ionosphere at HF. He recently was awarded the Sarnoff Award by the Radio Club of America, the oldest wireless society in the USA and has also been elected to the Board of Directors of that same organization. 

Email:

Address:Professor, Electrical Engineering , 225 Electrical Engineering East Penn State University , University Park, Pennsylvania, United States, 16802





Agenda

5:45PM - Refreshments and Networking

6:00 PM-7:00 PM: Talk by Prof James K. Breakall, Electrical Engineering, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802

You do not have to be an IEEE Member to attend. Refreshmen is free for all attendess. Please invite your friends and colleagues to take advantages of this Invited Distinguished Lecture.



Co-sponsor by IEEE North Jersey MTT/AP & ED/CAS Chapters