Determination of the D-Layer Air Chemistry from a Daytime, High-Altitude Nuclear Explosion.

by Robert LeLevier

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A discussion of the properties of X-ray-induced absorption in a daytime environment. Measurements of the magnitude and time dependence of X-ray-induced absorption over Midway during the nighttime high-altitude nuclear explosion of July 9, 1962 allowed one to infer bounds on the dissociative recombination coefficient alpha of the D-layer of the ionosphere. It is shown that a daytime experiment would allow a unique determination of alpha. By combining the daytime and nighttime data, one could infer the in situ detachment rate of the daytime ionosphere. A low-yield explosion (a few KT) is adequate for the experiment.

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