Bipolar climatology of GPS ionospheric scintillation at solar minimum

L Alfonsi, L Spogli, G De Franceschi, V Romano, M Aquino, A Dodson, Cathryn N Mitchell

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High-rate sampling data of Global Navigation Satellite Systems ionospheric scintillation acquired by a network of GPS Ionospheric Scintillation and TEC Monitor receivers located in the Svalbard Islands, in Norway and in Antarctica have been analyzed. The aim is to describe the "scintillation climatology" of the high-latitude ionosphere over both the poles under quiet conditions of the near-Earth environment. For climatology we mean to assess the general recurrent features of the ionospheric irregularities dynamics and temporal evolution on long data series, trying to catch eventual correspondences with scintillation occurrence. In spite of the fact that the sites are not geomagnetically conjugate, long series of data recorded by the same kind of receivers provide a rare opportunity to draw a picture of the ionospheric features characterizing the scintillation conditions over high latitudes. The method adopted is the Ground Based Scintillation Climatology, which produces maps of scintillation occurrence and of total electron content relative variation to investigate ionospheric scintillations scenario in terms of geomagnetic and geographic coordinates, interplanetary magnetic field conditions and seasonal variability. By means of such a novel and original description of the ionospheric irregularities, our work provides insights to speculate on the cause-effect mechanisms producing scintillations, suggesting the roles of the high-latitude ionospheric trough, of the auroral boundaries and of the polar cap ionosphere in hosting those irregularities causing scintillations over both the hemispheres at high latitude. The method can constitute a first step toward the development of new algorithms to forecast the scintillations during space weather events.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberRs0d05
JournalRadio Science
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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