Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Physics


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Robert D. Loper, PhD.


Space weather events can cause irregularities within the ionosphere; in particular, this research examines sub-auroral polarization streams (SAPS), as their accompanying irregularities and effects can degrade high-frequency (HF) signal propagation. It is known that the strongest westerly current drifts delineating SAPS are associated with a deep ionospheric trough, which in turn contaminates HF data with clutter from the non-standard ionosphere. Having a methodology to track and identify these occurrences on current computational architecture would provide operators enhanced situational awareness in knowing to expect degradation in HF processes. This study has discovered a weak, yet significant, exponentially decaying correlation between maximum SAPS flow velocity and electron energy flux. Also examined is overarching characteristics most commonly associated with SAPS events. It has been noted that March is the most common month for SAPS formation, as well as finding electron energy flux for SAPS flow to be 4.0 ergs/cm2s with a best regression during solar minimum. The location of the energy flux is just as important as locating the proper energy flux values. This information established an operational rule of thumb to help radar operators determine when SAPS events will degrade standard radar operations

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