Reference : Climatological study of ionospheric irregularities over the European mid-latitude sec...
Scientific journals : Article
Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences : Space science, astronomy & astrophysics
Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences : Earth sciences & physical geography
Climatological study of ionospheric irregularities over the European mid-latitude sector with GPS
Wautelet, Gilles mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de géographie > Unité de Géomatique - Topographie et géométrologie >]
Warnant, René mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de géographie > Unité de Géomatique - Géodésie et GNSS >]
Journal of Geodesy
Springer Science & Business Media B.V.
Yes (verified by ORBi)
[en] ionospheric irregularities ; climatological study ; mid-latitude region ; traveling ionospheric disturbance ; GPS
[en] High-frequency variability of the ionosphere, or irregularities, constitutes the main threat for real-time precise positioning techniques based on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) measurements. Indeed, during periods of enhanced ionospheric variability, GNSS users in the field – who cannot verify the integrity of their measurements – will experience positioning errors that can reach several decimeters, while the nominal accuracy of the technique is cm-level. In the frame of this paper, a climatological analysis of irregularities over the European mid-latitude region is presented. Based on a ten year GPS dataset over Belgium, the work analyzes the occurrence rate (as a function of the solar cycle, season and local time) as well as the amplitude of ionospheric irregularities observed at a single GPS station. The study covers irregularities either due to space weather events (solar origin) or of terrestrial origin. If space weather irregularities are responsible for the largest effects in terms of ionospheric error, their occurrence rate highly depends on solar activity. Indeed, the occurrence rate of ionospheric irregularities is about 9% during solar maximum, whereas it drops to about 0% during medium or low solar activity periods. Medium-Scale Ionospheric Disturbances (MSTIDs) occurring during daytime in autumn/winter are the most recurrent pattern of the time series, with yearly proportions slightly varying with the solar cycle and an amplitude of about 10% of the TEC background. Another recurrent irregularity type, though less frequent than MSTIDs, is the noise-like variability in TEC observed during summer nighttime, under quiet geomagnetic conditions. These summer nighttime irregularities exhibit amplitudes ranging between 8 and 15% of the TEC background.
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