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Ultra-sensitive broadband "AWESOME" electric field receiver for nanovolt low-frequency signals

Gurses, B. Volkan and Whitmore, Kevin T. and Cohen, Morris B. (2021) Ultra-sensitive broadband "AWESOME" electric field receiver for nanovolt low-frequency signals. Review of Scientific Instruments, 92 (2). Art. No. 024704. ISSN 0034-6748. doi:10.1063/5.0031491.

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Longwave (defined here as 500 Hz–500 kHz) radio science drives many scientific and engineering applications, including lightning detection and geolocation, subsea and subsurface sensing and communications, navigation and timing, and ionospheric and magnetospheric remote sensing. The hardware performance (i.e., sensitivity and bandwidth) of the receivers that detect long waves determines the maximum amount of information that can be extracted from the acquired data. In this paper, we present and describe an ultra-sensitive electric field receiver that enables broadband radio reception from near-DC up to 470 kHz, augmenting the legacy of the “Atmospheric Weather Electromagnetic System for Observation Modeling and Education” (AWESOME), a state-of-the-art magnetic field receiver completed previously. The AWESOME electric field receiver uses capacitive coupling with a dipole antenna to detect the electric field components of long waves and attains a sensitivity of 0.677 nV/(m√Hz). This sensitivity allows the detection of natural radio atmospherics and man-made beacon emissions at a global range. The AWESOME electric field receiver can also be integrated with a magnetic field sensor for simultaneous electric and magnetic field reception. In this paper, we detail the design of the receiver, including the receiver architecture, its working principles, design methodology, and trade-offs. We showcase the receiver performance characterized through both numerical models and empirical measurements. We demonstrate a novel calibration method that is quick and straightforward, suitable for deployments in the field. Finally, we demonstrate some novel applications enabled by this receiver’s excellent sensitivity and simultaneous reception capability of electric and magnetic field components of long waves.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Gurses, B. Volkan0000-0001-8184-208X
Cohen, Morris B.0000-0002-7920-5759
Additional Information:© 2021 Published under license by AIP Publishing. Submitted: 30 September 2020; Accepted: 30 December 2020; Published Online: 2 February 2021. This work was supported by the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences of the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. AGS 1451142 and 1653114 to the Georgia Institute of Technology. We thank the members of the LF Radio Lab at Georgia Tech for their helpful insight and discussions during the design and development of this instrument. We also thank our friends at Briarwood Academy and the Sligo substation for hosting our receivers.
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Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210401-092010533
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Official Citation:Ultra-sensitive broadband "AWESOME" electric field receiver for nanovolt low-frequency signals. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 92, 024704 (2021); doi: 10.1063/5.0031491
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108601
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Apr 2021 01:11
Last Modified:09 Apr 2021 01:11

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