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how this can affect ionogram autoscaling methods. To illustrate this problem, 623 ionograms recorded in March and April 2004 (days 080-105) by the digisonde 256 installed at Learmonth (22.3° S, 114.1° E) were considered. These ionograms, often characterized by very unreliable O/X
polarization tagging of the echoes because of unresolved antenna issues, have been autoscaled by both ARTIST 4.2 and Autoscala. Results of comparisons between automatically and manually scaled foF2 data are shown for both programs, considering as acceptable an autoscaled value that lies within 0.5 MHz of the manual value. Autoscala values of foF2 agree with the manually-scaled values for ~99% of ionograms, while ARTIST values of foF2 agree with the manually-scaled values for ~75% of ionograms. While ARTIST was coded on the assumption of valid polarization
tagging, the fact remains that it produces invalid results when equipment issues cause invalid tagging. Autoscaling procedures that do not use the polarization tagging will generally work better than ARTIST in such cases. However, these other procedures are susceptible to failure in other situations.
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