Geophysical Research

Romney B Duffey, who was a PhD student at the observatory in the 1960’s, has provided a personal account of the geophysical research that was conducted at the NLO, along with some historical context. He has kindly given permission for this to be published here, so his full notes are reproduced below.

The research programme under Dr Kenneth Weekes included:

  • Ionospheric probing using a pulsed EM oscillator
  • Upper atmosphere airglow measurements
  • Ionospheric effects on wave propagation of low-level satellite signals
  • Geomagnetic fluctuations, micropulsations and hydromagnetic wave propagation in the exosphere and earth using highly sensitive magnetometers

At the time the magnetometers at the NLO were the most sensitive in the world. Sadly the only visible remains of this research are the concrete blocks which held the magnetometers, however a plaque commemorating the work has been placed outside the Lockyer Technology Centre. The notes from Dr Duffey therefore provide a unique insight into an important part of the history that occurred at the site.


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