GPS scintillations and total electron content climatology in the southern low, middle and high latitude regions

Luca Spogli, Lucilla Alfonsi, Pierre J. Cilliers, Emília Correia, Giorgiana De Franceschi, Cathryn N. Mitchell, Vincenzo Romano, Joe Kinrade, Miguel Angel Cabrera

Abstract


In recent years, several groups have installed high-frequency sampling receivers in the southern middle and high latitude regions, to monitor ionospheric scintillations and the total electron content (TEC) changes. Taking advantage of the archive of continuous and systematic observations of the ionosphere on L-band by means of signals from the Global Positioning System (GPS), we present the first attempt at ionospheric scintillation and TEC mapping from Latin America to Antarctica. The climatology of the area considered is derived through Ground-Based Scintillation Climatology, a method that can identify ionospheric sectors in which scintillations are more likely to occur. This study also introduces the novel ionospheric scintillation 'hot-spot' analysis. This analysis first identifies the crucial areas of the ionosphere in terms of enhanced probability of scintillation occurrence, and then it studies the seasonal variation of the main scintillation and TEC-related parameters. The results produced by this sophisticated analysis give significant indications of the spatial/ temporal recurrences of plasma irregularities, which contributes to the extending of current knowledge of the mechanisms that cause scintillations, and consequently to the development of efficient tools to forecast space-weather-related ionospheric events.


Keywords


Ionopsphere; GNSS; GPS; GLONASS; Ionospheric scintillation; Climatology; Space weather; Ionospheric irregularities

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References


DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-6240
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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X