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Finite difference time domain simulation of the Earth-ionosphere resonant cavity: Schumann resonances

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article numberIssue 4
Pages (from-to)1535 - 1541
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation
Journal issue4
StatePublished - Apr 2005


This paper presents a numerical approach to study the electrical properties of the Earth's atmosphere. The finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) technique is applied to model the Earth's atmosphere in order to determine Schumann resonant frequencies of the Earth. Three-dimensional spherical coordinates are employed and the conductivity profile of the atmosphere versus height is introduced. Periodic boundary conditions are implemented in order to exploit the symmetry in rotation of the Earth and decrease computational requirements dramatically. For the first time, very accurate FDTD results are obtained, not only for the fundamental mode but also for higher order modes of Schumann resonances. The proposed method constitutes a useful tool to obtain Schumann resonant frequencies, therefore to validate electrical models for the terrestrial atmosphere, or atmospheres of other celestial bodies

Additional information

Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Rose publication type: Journal article Sponsorship: The authors would like to thank Profs. D. Bull and J.P. McGeehan for provision of facilities at the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department of the University of Bristol, Bristol, U.K. Terms of use: Copyright © 2005 IEEE. Reprinted from IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation. This material is posted here with permission of the IEEE. Such permission of the IEEE does not in any way imply IEEE endorsement of any of the University of Bristol's products or services. Internal or personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution must be obtained from the IEEE by writing to By choosing to view this document, you agree to all provisions of the copyright laws protecting it.

    Research areas

  • Earth-ionosphere waveguide, finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) methods, propagation, extremely low frequency (ELF)

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