Geomagnetic storms and the occurrence of phase slips in the reception of GPS signals

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E. L. Afraimovich
O. S. Lesyuta
I. I. Ushakov
S. V. Voeykov


We have investigated a dependence of the relative density of GPS phase slips on the geomagnetic disturbance level. The study is based on using Internet-available selected data from the global GPS network, with the simultaneously handled number of receiving stations ranging from 160 to 323. The analysis used four days from the period 1999-2000, with the values of the geomagnetic field disturbance index Dst from 5 to 300 nT. During strong magnetic storms, the relative density of phase slips on mid-latitudes exceeds that for magnetically quiet days by one-two orders of magnitude as a minimum, and reaches a few percent of the total density of observations. Furthermore, the level of phase slips for the GPS satellites located on the sunward side of the Earth was by a factor of 5-10 larger compared with the opposite side of the Earth. The level of slips of L 1 phase measurements at the fundamental GPS frequency is at least one order of magnitude lower than that in L 1 L 2 measurements. The slips of L 1 L 2 measurements are most likely to be caused by the high level of slips of L 2 phase measurements at the auxiliary frequency. As an alternative, we developed and tested a new method for determining TEC variations using only data on the pseudo-range and phase measurements at fundamental frequency L 1 . The standard deviation of the TEC variations which were obtained in phase measurements at two frequencies, L 1 L 2 , and at fundamental frequency L 1 , does not exceed 0.1 TECU, which permits this method to be used in strong disturbance conditions when phase slips at auxiliary frequency L 2 are observed.

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Afraimovich EL, Lesyuta OS, Ushakov II, Voeykov SV. Geomagnetic storms and the occurrence of phase slips in the reception of GPS signals. Ann. Geophys. [Internet]. 2002Dec.25 [cited 2022Jun.29];45(1). Available from: