Tackling ionospheric scintillation threat to GNSS in Latin America

Vadakke Veettil Sreeja, M Aquino, Biagio Forte, Zeynep Elmas, Craig Hancock, Giorgiana De Franceschi, L Alfonsi, L Spogli, V Romano, Bruno Bougard, Joao F G Monico, A W Wernik, J-M Sleewaegen, A Canto, Elcia F Da Silva

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Scintillations are rapid fluctuations in the phase and amplitude of transionospheric radio signals which are caused by small-scale
plasma density irregularities in the ionosphere. In the case of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers, scintillation
can cause cycle slips, degrade the positioning accuracy and, when severe enough, can even lead to a complete loss of signal lock.
Thus, the required levels of availability, accuracy, integrity and reliability for the GNSS applications may not be met during scintillation
occurrence; this poses a major threat to a large number of modern-day GNSS-based applications. The whole of Latin
America, Brazil in particular, is located in one of the regions most affected by scintillations. These effects will be exacerbated during
solar maxima, the next predicted for 2013. This paper presents initial results from a research work aimed to tackle ionospheric
scintillation effects for GNSS users in Latin America. This research is a part of the CIGALA (Concept for Ionospheric Scintillation
Mitigation for Professional GNSS in Latin America) project, co-funded by the EC Seventh Framework Program and supervised by
the GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA), which aims to develop and test ionospheric scintillation countermeasures to be implemented
in multi-frequency, multi-constellation GNSS receivers.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA05
JournalJournal of Space Weather and Space Climate
Issue number1
Early online date28 Nov 2011
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2011


  • modeling and forecasting
  • ionosphere
  • ionospheric irregularities


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