Polar Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances inferred with the B-Spline Method and Associated Scintillations in the Southern Hemisphere

Shishir Priyadarshi, Q. H. Zhang, E. G. Thomas, L. Spogli, C. Cesaroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (SciVal)


A new method for analyzing travelling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs) is developed by using two B-spline basis functions of degree 4 on the Total Electron Content (TEC) data from the ground-based Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers. This method enhances the spatial resolution to about 0.1° (geographic latitude) × 0.1° (geographic longitude), which is useful in studying all scales (small, medium and large) TIDs. Using this method, we investigated TIDs and their associated scintillation on 18–19 July 2013 at Southern Hemisphere and found phase scintillation is more sensitive than amplitude scintillation to the TIDs at South Pole. To see the full impact of TIDs on scintillation, we have used a proxy phase scintillation index, calculated using geodetic GPS receivers over Antarctica. We have verified the presence of TIDs during these two days by using a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-TEC single station approach and SuperDARN slant range signals. Our results show the TEC fluctuations are associated with ionospheric scintillation. The shape of TIDs, their elongation and flattening along/across the geographic latitude/longitude, seems to be related to the magnitude and occurrence of ionospheric scintillations. Magnetospheric particle precipitation boost TEC gradients and generate stronger amplitude scintillation, however, large-scale plasma irregularities cause overall enhancement in magnitude of the phase scintillation index. Due to the high turbulence in the polar ionosphere, TIDs change their shapes quite quickly and/or may disappear in the background ionosphere. B-spline TIDs analysis method is very useful in identifying the visible as well as hidden TIDs parts in the polar ionosphere. For the first time, ionospheric scintillation has been investigated in the vicinity of TIDs at high- latitude in the southern hemisphere. Further, the presented B-spline TIDs analysis method is unique and simple in itself as it uses GPS receiver processed TEC data as the primary input. Our results show that at polar latitude it is not necessary that TIDs always appear near the high TEC regions. Usefulness of the B-spline TIDs detection method has been demonstrated in analyzing TIDs at all geographic locations and different solar activity conditions by comparing B-spline TIDs method produced results with the previous case studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3249-3266
Number of pages18
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number11
Early online date16 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


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