Natural atmospheric noise statistics from VLF measurements in the eastern Mediterranean

Yuval Reuveni*, Colin Price, Eran Greenberg, Abraham Shuval

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Very low frequency (VLF) (3-30 kHz) and extremely low frequency (ELF) (3-3000 Hz) electromagnetic transient signals and noise are generated by various natural and anthropogenic processes. On a global basis by far the most significant source is ELF/VLF radiation from lightning propagating in the Earth-ionosphere waveguide. This atmospheric "noise," originating essentially from lightning discharges, is the main source of interference for VLF/LF telecommunications. One of the statistical measures that is used to define the properties of low-frequency radio noise is the voltage deviation Vd, which is a measure of the impulsiveness of the noise that is widely used to characterize radio noise, particularly in the International Radio Consultative Committee reports. In this paper we present atmospheric noise statistics based on VLF measurements at different temporal resolution (from minutes to seasonal variations). For the first time we present analysis of the statistical parameters of Vd from continuous broadband VLF measurements for a period extending more than 1 year. Our analysis shows that the long-term observed Vd characteristics can be reasonably estimated as the sum of two Gaussians distribution functions, while the hourly and seasonal distributions of Vd values can be fitted using a single Gaussian distribution with different mean and variance values.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberRS5015
JournalRadio Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010


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