Non-Paraxial Propagation through Strongly Inhomogenous Ionospheric Turbulence: Solving the 3D Stochastic Maxwell's Equations

Project: Research project

Project Details


3D Electromagnetic (EM) waves propagating through inhomogeneous ionosphere characterized by coupled neutral-plasma interactions are aected by refractive index uctuations and mean-eld refractive index gradients. The turbulence structure of these uctuations is often modeled as isotropic, homogeneous turbulence having an equilibrium range in its spectrum. These assumptions are not realistic when mean-eld gradients, inhomogeneity and anisotropy are strong due to specic production mechanisms and creation of scintillation producing irregularities. The overarching goals of this proposal are to investigate three-dimensional eects in EM propagation through strongly inhomogeneous ionospheric turbulence and to develop next generation predictive capabilities based on the stochastic 3D Maxwells equations. The proposed work is rmly grounded in recent achievements of the PI in characterization of strongly inhomogeneous three-dimensional ionospheric turbulent dynamics described in the Progress to Date section of the proposal. This proposal research approach comprises inter-related Research Thrusts. Specically, PI will: (1) develop accurate, fast and robust computational algorithms for three-dimensional stochastic Maxwells equations; (2) predictively model 3D EM propagation through strongly inhomogeneous ionospheric turbulence characterized by Rayleigh-Taylor scintillation producing irregularities and sharp non-equilibrium charged layers; (3) delineate 3D eects in EM propagation through strongly in-homogeneous ionospheric turbulence eectively resolving coupling between inhomogeneous media and stochastic neutral-plasma uctuations; (4) develop novel methods for 3D EM propagation through strongly inhomogeneous random media based on generalized Fresnel integrals and phase screens capturing scintillations induced by EM wave trapping in parabolic cavities, caustics, phase dynamics and lensing phenomena. Coordinated research in these thrust areas will yield the most profound advances in physics-based predictive modeling. Throughout the project, methodological developments will be steered by a closed loop validation plan that incorporates theoretical, computational and algorithmic developments for the 3D stochastic Maxwells equations. Validation eorts will focus on a limited collection of focused ionospheric propagation scenarios, nonetheless the techniques we develop will be cross-cutting. These studies advance scientic knowledge and computation of the 3D stochastic Maxwells equations and develop next-generation predictive modeling capabilities for non-paraxial propagation through strongly inhomogeneous ionospheric turbulence.
Effective start/end date2/15/152/14/18


  • DOD-USAF-AFRL: Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR): $485,519.00

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