Measuring GNSS ionospheric total electron content at Concordia, and application to L-band radiometers

V. Romano, G. Macelloni, L. Spogli, M. Brogioni, G. Marinaro, C.N. Mitchell

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In the framework of the project BIS - Bipolar Ionospheric Scintillation and Total Electron Content Monitoring, the ISACCO-DMC0 and ISACCO-DMC1 permanent monitoring stations were installed in 2008. The principal scope of the stations is to measure the ionospheric total electron content (TEC) and to monitor the ionospheric scintillations, using high-sampling-frequency global positioning system (GPS) ionospheric scintillation and TEC monitor (GISTM) receivers. The disturbances that the ionosphere can induce on the electromagnetic signals emitted by the Global Navigation Satellite System constellations are due to the presence of electron density anomalies in the ionosphere, which are particularly frequent at high latitudes, where the upper atmosphere is highly sensitive to perturbations coming from outer space. With the development of present and future low-frequency space-borne microwave missions (e.g., Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity [SMOS], Aquarius, and Soil Moisture Active Passive missions), there is an increasing need to estimate the effects of the ionosphere on the propagation of electromagnetic waves that affects satellite measurements. As an example, how the TEC data collected at Concordia station are useful for the calibration of the European Space Agency SMOS data within the framework of an experiment promoted by the European Space Agency (known as DOMEX) will be discussed. The present report shows the ability of the GISTM station to monitor ionospheric scintillation and TEC, which indicates that only the use of continuous GPS measurements can provide accurate information on TEC variability, which is necessary for continuous calibration of satellite data.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberR0219
JournalAnnals of Geophysics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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