TEC Response to X-ray Solar Emissions Observed in the Equatorial and Low-latitude Brazilian Region

Friday, 19 December 2014
Fabio Becker-Guedes, Claudia M Nicoli Candido, Patricia M de Siqueira, Eurico R Paula, Hisao Takahashi, Clezio Marcos De Nardin and Joaquim E R Costa, INPE National Institute for Space Research, Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil
Some spurious effects affecting radio communications happen when the X-ray solar flux in the interplanetary medium reaches values above a certain threshold. The magnitudes of these effects depend on the X-ray peak brightness and the duration, which drive the intensity of the ionosphere response when the associated electromagnetic wave hit the sunlit side of the Earth atmosphere. An important aspect defining the severity of damages to HF radio communications and LF navigation signals in a certain area is the local time when each event takes place. In order to improve the understanding of radio signal loss or degradation in the Brazilian sector due to solar X-ray emissions, we analyze total electron content (TEC) maps and curves at selected sites obtained by a GPS network formed by tents of dual-frequency receivers spread all over Brazilian territory. We observe ionospheric local changes during several X-ray events in the 0.1-0.8 nm range identified by GOES satellite. Considering the duration, peak brightness, and local time of the events, our goal is to understand the degree of changes suffered by the ionosphere after these solar X-ray emissions using GPS receivers, namely in the equatorial region and around the southern crest of the equatorial ionospheric anomaly.