Ionospheric Section Records, 1927-[1959] (Bulk 1942-1946)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carnegie Institution of Washington

Department of Terrestrial Magnetism Archives

Washington, DC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding aid written by:

Jennifer Snyder

August 2005

 

 


Ionospheric Section Records, 1927-[1959] (Bulk 1942-1946)

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

Page

Introduction

1

Historical Note

1

Scope and Contents Note

2

Folder Listing

4

Subject Terms

10

Bibliography

11

 


Ionospheric Section Records, 1927-[1959] (Bulk 1942-1946)

DTM-2005-10

 

Introduction

Abstract: This collection documents the work conducted by the ionospheric program at the Carnegie Institution�s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism.

Extent: 17 linear feet: 12 records center cartons, 1 oversize records center carton, 2 flat storage boxes

Acquisition: The records have been in the possession of Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) since their creation.

 

Access Restrictions: There are no access restrictions. Authorization for declassification is noted in a memorandum of the Acting Secretary of Defense, 2 August 1960.

Copyright: Copyright is held by the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington. For permission to reproduce or publish please contact the archivist at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism.

 

Preferred Citation: Ionospheric Section Records, 1927-[1959], Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C.

 

Processing: Processing was completed by Jennifer Snyder in August 2005.

 

This collection was processed through the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

 

Historical Note

*Dr. Louis Brown wrote an excellent history of the Ionospheric Section which is found in Centennial History of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Volume II: The Department of Terrestrial Magnetism. Much of the below information has been cribbed from this chapter.

 

Ionospheric research began at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) in 1924 when Gregory Breit joined the staff. The initial goal of the program was to establish the existence of a conducting layer (then called the �Kennelly-Heaviside Layer�) in the upper atmosphere which allowed radio transmissions to travel great distances. Merle Tuve was brought on board shortly after Breit. Together they developed a technique for transmitting modulated radio signals up into the atmosphere and oberving the resulting radio echoes. The echo observations proved the existence of ionosphere and permitted measurement of its height.

 

In the early 1930s, Odd Dahl and Lawrence Hafstad joined the program to continue the ionospheric studies until work was transferred to the National Bureau of Standards (NBS). However, NBS programs were curtailed due to the Depression, and with the arrival of Lloyd V. Berkner at DTM in 1933 the Department�s ionosphere program resumed an active phase. Under Berkner, new automatic ionospheric recorders were developed and a field station for experiments established at Kensington, Maryland. Berkner brought a national and international scope to the work because of his involvement in many organizations. Harry W. Wells was acting chief of DTM�s ionospheric work during the War years.

 

During World War II, DTM established ionosphere stations around the globe to facilitate communication among the armed forces. Carnegie was an integral member of the Wave Propagation Committee (WPC), organized under the Joint Communications Board, Joint Chiefs of Staff. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology�s museum website,

 

In 1942, the Combined Communications Board of the Combined Chiefs of Staff in Washington, DC created the Interservice Radio Propagation Laboratory (IRPL) and placed its headquarters at NBS. The duties of this new lab were:

to centralize and disseminate all ionospheric and radio propagation data for the U.S.

to operate and sponsor operation of such ionospheric stations as were necessary to obtain the data

to cooperate and collaborate with the radio propagation organizations of other countries of the United Nations

to issue radio propagation information and predictions for the use of the armed forces and other cooperating agencies of the United Nations

to train personnel of the armed forces in the use of ionospheric and propagation data

to make special propagation studies and solve specific problems upon request

 

IRPL later became the Central Radio Propagation Laboratory (CRPL). Indeed, these were much the same duties of the Carnegie program.

 

After the War, DTM�s ionospheric activities moved to its new experimental laboratory at Derwood, Maryland. In the 1950s the focus of research there gradually shifted to radio astronomy. �Upper atmosphere research� was mentioned prominently in the Carnegie Year Book for the last time in 1957. With Wells� departure in 1960, ionospheric research at DTM effectively came to an end. [An excellent summary of DTM�s ionosphere activities during the War is given in Year Book 45, pp. 54-56, 1946.]

 

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the work conducted by the ionospheric program at the Carnegie Institution�s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism. It includes committees meeting minutes and transcripts, data collected at Carnegie�s observation stations, and research notebooks documenting various experiment conducted to establish the existence of a conducting layer for radio waves in the upper atmosphere.

 

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in three series as follows:

 

Series 1: Files, 1934-1948, n.d.

Series 1, Subseries 1: Equipment files, 1936-1946, n.d.

Series 1, Subseries 2: Federal Communication Commission (FCC) files, 1934, 1938-1946, n.d.

Series 1, Subseries 3: Interservice Radio Propagation Laboratory (IRPL) files, 1942-1946

Series 1, Subseries 4: Ionosphere Station Reports, 1941-1946

Series 1, Subseries 5: Wave Propagation Committee (WPC) files, 1942-1946

Series 1, Subseries 6: Miscellaneous files, 1936-1948, n.d.

Series 2: Data, 1933-1956 [bulk 1933-1946]

Series 3: Research Notebooks, 1927-1950s

 

Series 1: Files, 1934-1948, n.d.

This series is arranged into 6 subseries, organized by file type (e.g., committee). The types of materials found in this series include: regulations, handbooks, mimeographs, and correspondence.

 

Series 1, Subseries 1: Equipment files, 1936-1946, n.d.

The equipment files document the types of equipment used at observation stations. Files may include instructions, manuals, or other documentation.

 

Series 1, Subseries 2: Federal Communications Commission (FCC) files, 1934, 1938-1946, n.d.

This subseries contains Carnegie�s FCC documentation. Of note is the application file for establishing a radio station in College, Alaska.

 

Series 1, Subseries 3: Interservice Radio Propagation Laboratory (IRPL) files, 1942-1946

This subseries documents the activities of IRPL. Established by the National Bureau of Standards, this organization was responsible for collecting radio-wave propagation data and disseminating them to the armed forces.

 

Series 1, Subseries 4: Ionosphere Station Reports, 1941-1946

This subseries contains reports from Carnegie Institution run stations around the world. They are organized by country.

 

Series 1, Subseries 5: Wave Propagation Committee (WPC) files, 1942-1946

This subseries contains agendas, minutes, notes, and other communications about the meetings of this committee. Abbreviations on the files are as follows:

WP = Wave Propagation

JX = Joint Communications Board

JCB = Joint Communications Board

CX= Combined Communications Board

CCB= Combined Communications Board

 

Series 1, Subseries 6: Miscellaneous files, 1936-1948, n.d.

The files in this subseries are more general than those found in the above subseries. Reprints, reports, and bulletins from Carnegie and external sources are included here. Of particular note is the photograph album which was created by/for H.W. Wells; it illustrates wartime operations and equipment at DTM�s ionospheric stations. Also noteworthy are the first motion pictures of ionospheric activity, produced at DTM in 1946 using panoramic recorders. Other films document field work at DTM�s observation stations. The films that are in their original cardboard boxes were made at observation stations and show people working.

 

Series 2: Data, 1933-1956 [bulk 1933-1946]

This series contains observation logs, charts, and traces (ionograms) from observation stations around the world. Of note in this series are auroral materials from College, Alaska. The records are arranged geographically and then by type of material.

 

Series 3: Research Notebooks, 1927-1950s

Several of the notebooks in this series are believed to be associated with Tuve and Breit�s ionosphere experiments, though no personal identifiers have been found with the notebooks. Two notebooks belonged to H.W. Wells and are identified as such.

 

Folder Listing

 

Box

Folder

Series 1, Subseries 1: Equipment files, 1936-1946, n.d.

 

 

Description of 12-inch Indicator Supplied with Navy No. 2 Equipment, 1945

1

1

Antenna System, 1942-1945

4

1

Auroral Camera, 1941

1

2

Automatic Voltage Controller, 1941-1943

 

3

British Equipment, 1942-1945

4

2

Communications Equipment, 1937

1

4

Diesel Engines, 1936

 

5

Huancayo Magnetic Observatory Diesel Folder, 1940

 

6

Watheroo Magnetic Observatory Diesel Folder, 1939

 

7

Duplex Ionospheric Recorder No.1, LVB [Berkner], n.d.

 

8

Duplex Ionospheric Recorder No.2, LVB [Berkner], n.d.

 

9

Fixed-Frequency Equipment, n.d.

 

10

A Tracking System for Ionosphere Measuring Equipment, 1945

 

11

Ionospheric Equipment, 1933-1936

4

3

C.T. Kwei Equipment, 1937

1

12

Preliminary Description of Manual Multifrequency Standby Equipment, DTM model No. 2, 1944

 

13

Manual Multifrequency Ionospheric Recorder, Model 1, 1945

 

14

Manual Multifrequency Ionospheric Recorder, Model 2, 1945

 

15

Manual Multifrequency Ionospheric Recorder, Extra MS and prints, n.d.

 

16

Report: Manual Multifrequency [Ionospheric] Recorder, DTMCIW Model 2, 1945

 

17

Manual Multifrequency Ionospheric Equipment, Model 3, 1946

 

18

Manual Standby Equipment, 1944-1946

4

4

Instruction Book: Navy Models DAB and DAB-1 Radio Direction Finder Equipment, 1943

1

19

Panoramic Ionospheric Recorder, Model 2, H.W. Wells, 1952, n.d.

 

20

Portable Buildings, 1942

 

21

Power Plants, 1943-1944

 

22-23

Power Supply Equipment, 1936-1938

 

24

Power Supply Factory Data, 1939-1940

 

25

Watheroo Magnetic Observatory Power Supply, 1924, 1931, 1934

 

26

[General Instructions for Operation of Special Radio Transmitting and Receiving Equipment for Determining Heights of Ionized Regions of the Upper Atmosphere], 1933

 

27

Visual Recorder [Magnetograph], 1942, 1944

 

28

 

 

 

Series 1, Subseries 2: FCC files, 1934, 1938-1946, n.d.

 

 

College Alaska Station [Application for Station], 1941-1946

1

29

The Communication Act of 1934, 1942

 

30

Data [regulations and other papers], 1938-1939

 

31-32

Master Frequency List of Allocated, Assigned, and Received Frequencies, 1943

 

33

Mimeographed Sheets [memoranda, press releases, and other papers], 1938-1946

 

34-35

Publications, 1940, 1942, 1944, 1945 n.d.

 

36

Rules and Regulations, 1934, 1939

2

1

Study Guide and Reference Manual for Commercial Radio Operator Examinations, 1939

 

2

 

 

 

Series 1, Subseries 3: Interservice Radio Propagation Laboratory (IRPL) files, 1942-1946

 

 

B: Frequency, 1942

2

3

C: Conference report, 1944

 

4

D: Basic Radio Propagation Predictions Three Months in Advance, 1946

 

5

F: Ionospheric Data, 1944-1946

 

6-9

G: Correlation of D.F. [Direction Finder] Errors with Ionospheric Conditions, 1945

 

10

H and M: Frequency Guide for Operating Personnel, 1943-1944

 

11

J: Weekly Forecasts, 1946

 

12

K: Best Radio Frequencies � Atlantic, 1942-1945

 

13-14

R: Nomograms for General Long-time Frequency Allocation, 1943-1945

 

15-17

T2a: Low-level coverage of Radars as Affected by Weather. Procedures and Charts, 1944

 

18

Average F and F2 Critical Frequencies and 3000km MUF Factors, 1942-1944

 

19

High-Frequency Radio Transmission Conditions, 1941-1943

 

20-21

MUF Graph Paper, 1943

 

22

Optimum Frequency Charts for Merchant Ships, 1943

 

23

Radio Propagation Conditions, 1943-1944

 

24-25

Radio Propagation Handbook: Part 1, 1943

 

26

Radio Propagation Handbook: Drafts, 1942-1943

 

27

Radio Propagation Handbook: Drafts, 1942-1943

3

1-2

Training Course, 1944

 

3

 

 

 

Series 1, Subseries 4: Ionosphere Station Reports, 1941-1946

 

 

Australia

 

 

Christmas Island: Monthly Summaries, 1944-1945

 

4

Canada

 

 

Clyde/Baffin Island: Monthly Summaries, 1943-1946

 

5

Iceland

 

 

Reykjavik: Monthly Summaries, 1944-1945

 

6

Peru

 

 

Huancayo: Monthly Summaries, 1944-1945

 

7

Trinidad

 

 

Monthly Summaries, 1944-1945

 

8

Report: 1944-1946

 

9

United States

 

 

College, Alaska

 

 

Auroral Reports, 1942-1945

 

10-11

Bi-Monthly Progress Reports, Oct. 1941-Oct. 1942, Nov. 1942-May 1943

 

12-13

Direction-Finder Reports, 1942-1945

 

14-17

Ionospheric Results, 1941-1945

 

18-20

Miscellaneous Reports, 1941-1945

 

21-22

Monthly Reports to Director, 1941-1944

 

23

Monthly Summaries, 1943-1945

 

24

Signal Intensity Measurements, 1942-1945

 

25

Hawaii

 

 

Monthly Summaries, 1944-1945

 

26

Combined Reports, 1946

4

5

 

 

 

Series 1, Subseries 5: Wave Propagation Committee files, 1942-1946

 

 

JX/WP Series

 

 

Agendas, 1943-1946

4

6

Minutes of Meetings, 1942-1946

 

7-12

Notes by the Secretaries, 1942-1945

 

13-15

CX/WP Series

 

 

Agendas, 1942-1946

 

16

Minutes of Meetings, 1942-1946

 

17-18

Minutes of Meetings, 1942-1946

5

1-3

Notes by the Secretaries, 1942-1945

 

4-10

CCB Series

 

 

Notes by the Secretaries, 1942-1945

 

11-14

[CCB and JCB Series] Radiograms, 1942-1945

 

15

Roster of Membership Committees (as of March 1946)

 

16

Memoranda for Information, 1942-1946

 

17

 

 

 

Series 1, Subseries 6: Miscellaneous files, 1936-1948, n.d.

 

 

Berkner, L.V.: Publications and reprints, 1939-1948

5

18

Blueprints for Ionospheric Laboratory and Field Station, 1943

3

27

Cosmic Data [Report of Geomagnetic Activity], 1941-1946

 

28

Code Instruction, 1942

 

29

External Data: Canadian Radio Wave Propagation Committee, 1947

5

19

Films

 

 

�First Motion Picture of the Ionosphere,� 1946 (2 films)

14

 

�Motion pictures of the ionosphere,� 1946

 

 

�copy sound type film� [otherwise unlabeled], n.d.

 

 

�First Motion Picture of the Ionosphere,� 1946 (2 films)

 

 

�Kensington [MD], Moderate Storm Period, June 3-9, 1946�

 

 

�November 17, 1948�

 

 

[2 unlabeled films in small black film cans]

 

 

[Ionosphere station in tropics; people conducting work at station, n.d.] (2 films)

 

 

Memorandum re: Harvard University Eclipse Expedition to South Africa, 1940

3

30

Office of War Information: Broadcast Schedules, 1944-1945

6

1

Paper and Lecture: Automatic Multifrequency Technique for Ionospheric Measurements by Berkner, Wells, and Seaton, 1936

3

31

Photograph Album

12

1-5

Photographs of HMO [Huancayo Magnetic Observatory] Installation for WMO [Watheroo Magnetic Observatory], n.d.

 

32

Photograph: Radio Wave propagation Conference, 1945

 

33

Reprints: External, 1933, 1938-1949

6

2

Reports and Bulletins: External

 

 

Canadian Radio Wave Propagation Committee, 1944-1946

6

3-4

National Research Council of Canada Radio Branch, 1942-1943

 

5

South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, 1946

 

6

Spitsbergen Report, ca. 1943

 

7

Technical Reports: CIW-- prepared under government contracts, 1942-1946

 

8

Technical Reports: External, 1943

 

9

 

 

 

Series 2: Data, 1933-1956 [bulk 1933-1946]

 

 

Australia: Christmas Island

 

 

Manual Equipment, Dec. 1944-Apr. 1945

10

1-5

 

 

 

Australia: Watheroo Magnetic Observatory

7-8

 

Ionospheric Observatory Cahiers, 1933-1936

 

 

Ionospheric Log Sheets, 1933-1938

 

 

Atmospherics, 1935-1936

 

 

Battery Cahier, 1933-1938

 

 

Battery Log and Charging Log, 1939-1946

 

 

Battery Capacity Test, 1939-1942

 

 

DC Power Equipment Cahiers

 

 

Machine Operation, 1936-1946

 

 

Maintenance Log, 1939-1944, 1945-1946

 

 

AC Power Equipment Cahiers

 

 

Maintenance Log, 1938-1946

 

 

Running Log, 1938-1946

 

 

Ionosphere Equipment Cahiers

 

 

Ionosphere Equipment, 1933-1938

 

 

Tube Log, 1938-1945

 

 

Running Log, 1938-1945

 

 

Maintenance Log, 1938-1945

 

 

Monthly Calibration Log, 1938-1946

 

 

Fade Out Summary, 1938-1946

 

 

Ionospheric Apparatus No. 2 and Power Equipment, April 1946-June 1947

 

 

Mean Hourly Values, 1941-1946

 

 

Ionosphere Building Control Data: Thermograms, 1937-

 

 

Transmitted Messages, 1933-1938

 

 

Received Messages, 1935-1939

 

 

 

 

 

China: Wuchang

8

 

Ionospheric Observations by C.T. Kwei at Central China College, 1937-1938

 

 

 

 

 

Peru: Huancayo Magnetic Observatory

8-9

 

Ionospheric Cahiers (Observation), 1933-1935, May-Dec. 1946, Jan., Mar.-June 1947

 

 

Ionosphere Log-Sheets, 1934-1937

 

 

Seismological Cahier, 1932-1936, June 1947

 

 

Ionosphere Apparatus and Instructions, 1933-1938

 

 

Battery Cahier, 1933-1936

 

 

Battery Logs, 1939

 

 

Battery Capacity Test, 1939

 

 

DC Power Equipment Cahiers

 

 

Power Operation, 1935-1946

 

 

Maintenance Log, 1939-1946

 

 

AC Power Equipment Cahiers

 

 

Maintenance Log, 1939-1946

 

 

Running Log, 1939-1940

 

 

Ionosphere Equipment Cahiers

 

 

Tube Log, 1938

 

 

Running Log, 1938-1946

 

 

Maintenance Log, 1945-1946

 

 

Monthly Calibration Check, 1938-1946

 

 

Fade Out Summary, 1939-1945

 

 

Field Intensity Maintenance Log, 1945-1946

 

 

Mean Hourly Values of Ionospheric Data, 1941-1944

 

 

Median Hourly Values, 1945-1946

 

 

Transmitted Messages, 1933, 1935, 1937-1938

 

 

Received Messages, 1936-1939

 

 

 

 

 

United States: College, Alaska

 

 

Ionosphere Results, 1933-

9

 

Weekly Ionosphere Disturbance Ratings, 1941-1942

 

 

Weekly Fade-out Summary, 1941-1943

 

 

Auroral Camera Log, 1943-1945

 

 

Direction Finder, 1944-1945

 

 

Signal Intensity Recorders Maintenance Log, 1941-1945

 

 

Zenith Weather, 1945

 

 

DC Power Equipment Cahier, 1941-1942

 

 

AC Power Equipment Cahier, 1941-1942

 

 

Ionospheric Equipment Cahiers

 

 

Running Log, 1941-1946

 

 

Maintenance Log, 1941-1946

 

 

Monthly, 1941-1946

 

 

Fade-Out, 1941-1946

 

 

Mean Hourly Values, 1941-1945

 

 

Median Hourly Values and Fade-Out Summary, 1949-1950

 

 

Yearly Reposts, 1941-1945

 

 

Car Log, 1943-1944

 

 

Aurora Log, Dec. 1941-Feb. 1942

10

6

Aurora Notation, Dec. 1941-Feb. 1942

10

7

General Condition of Weather and Isolated Aurora, Oct. 1932-May 1933 and Visual Observation Aurora, 1932-1933

15

 

Auroral Record, 1942-1943

15

 

K-indices; Gamma Ranges; Visual Aurora, 1942-1946

15

 

A-1: Aurora [Tabulation of K and graphs], ca. 1945

15

 

A-2: Aurora Camera Films and Records, 1941-1942

15

 

Aurora Camera Films and Records, 1943

15

 

Maximum Usable Frequencies, 1941-1942

10

8

Report of SID in Signal Intensities, Aug.1941-March 1942

10

9-10

Reports, Diagrams, and Miscellaneous, n.d.

6

10

Traces, Sept.-Dec. 1933, Jan.-May 1934

6

11-12

Weekly Field Intensity Data, Aug.-Oct. 1941, Dec. 1941, Jan.-Feb. 1942

10

11-13

Weekly Ionosphere Data, Aug.-Dec. 1941, Jan. 1942

10

14-15

Ionosphere Data, 1954-1956

13

 

 

 

 

United States: Washington, DC

 

 

Ionospheric Observations from URSI Data, 1933-1936

9

 

 

 

 

Series 3: Research Notebooks, 1927-1950s

 

 

Direction Finding Reflection: O.D. [Odd Dahl], 1927-1928

11

1

Heaviside Layer Oscillograms, 1925-1930

 

2

Heaviside: P.G. [Potential Gradient], 1926-1927

 

3

Radio Echoes: Bellevue [Naval Research laboratory site, Washington, D.C.], 1929

 

4

Items from Radio Echoes: Bellevue [Naval Research laboratory site, Washington, D.C.], 1929

 

5

Radio Echoes, 1929-1930

 

6

H.W. Wells: Personal, 1938-1946

 

7

H.W. Wells, 1950s

 

8

 

Subject Terms

Topics:

Auroras

Ionosphere

Radio wave propagation

World War, 1939-1945          

 

Corporate Names:

Carnegie Institution of Washington. Dept. of Terrestrial Magnetism

Central Radio Propagation Laboratory (U.S.)

Interservice Radio Propagation Laboratory (U.S.)

United States. Federal Communications Commission

United States. Joint Communications Board

United States. National Bureau of Standards

 

Personal Names:

Berkner, Lloyd V. (Lloyd Viel), 1905-

Breit, Gregory, 1899-

Dahl, Odd, 1898-1994

Tuve, Merle Antony, 1901-1982

Wells, Harry Warren, 1907-

 

Forms:

Agendas (administrative records)

Blueprints

Correspondence

Laboratory notebooks

Minutes

Logs (records)

Photographs

Photograph albums

           

Bibliography

Brown, Louis. Centennial History of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. The Department of Terrestrial Magnetism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

 

�The Ionosphere and Its Relations to Geomagnetism Summary of War Activities, 1942-1946�. Carnegie Institution of Washington Year Book, v. 45, (pp. 54-56). Washington, DC: Carnegie Institution of Washington., 1946.

 

Related Collections

Instrument and Equipment Records, 1892-1970, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C.

 

Drawings and plans for buildings at the ionospheric stations are located in the DTM Archives.