Inductively coupled, electrically small antenna for ionospheric heating



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An efficient metamaterial-inspired electrically small antenna is presented to enable Transportable Ionospheric Heating which has been traditionally performed at fixed locations such as the HAARP research station in Gakona, Alaska. With it's resonant design of a Small Loop Antenna coupled to a Capacitively Loaded Loop the antenna provides a high-Q, natural match to a 50~Ω source with no external matching networks required. With the ability to be tuned - by adjusting the capacitively loaded loop's capacitance - through the range of frequencies required for ionospheric modification, ~3-10 MHz, capability of handling high power, and small size compared to an equivalent non-electrically small antenna the antenna presented offers a path to transportable ionospheric heating.

Several designs of the antenna are presented with the most promising being a design with a vertical parallel plate capacitor gap for tuning which utilizes no dielectrics for tuning and includes a method of tuning out the increasingly bad port matching as frequency is decreased. The antenna is tunable ~50% of the center of the band with efficiencies above 90% across its tuning range. Arrays which are transportable to any water accessible location around the globe are presented for both ionospheric heating and extremely low frequency generation.



Ionosphere, Ionospheric heating, Antennas, Electrically small antenna, Tunable antenna, Reconfigurable antenna