CHARACTERIZING DAYTIME GHZ SCINTILLATION AT EQUATORIAL REGIONS USING GNSS RADIO OCCULTATION MEASUREMENTS
Abstract:Ionospheric scintillation of radio waves can behave differently at different locations with a strong diurnal dependence; particularly in the equatorial regions. Ionospheric scintillations at gigahertz (GHz) frequencies have been observed during both daytime and nighttime. It is believed that daytime scintillation is associated with blanketing sporadic E (Esb), whereas nighttime scintillation is attributed to F layer irregularities. Scintillation events associated with Esbduring daytime are of our primary interest. Recent studies show that in the ionosphere, electron density profiles from Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Radio Occultation (RO) provide valuable information to help better understand the physics of the ionosphere. In particular, GNSS RO observations of GHz scintillation in the proximity of the E-layer have been interpreted as being caused by sporadic E.
In this paper the characteristics of daytime scintillations at 1.5 GHz recorded simultaneously from two stations (i) Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) (2.55°N, 101.461°E; dip latitude 5.78°S), and (ii) Langkawi (6.19°N, 99.51°E; dip latitude 1.90°S) during November and December 2010 are analyzed. The characteristics of daytime GHz scintillation and its relationship with E region irregularities at equatorial regions are investigated. Ground-based scintillation and Total Electron Content (TEC) data recorded by the GSV4004 receivers were utilized in combination with the amplitude scintillation measurements in terms of GPS C/A code SNR fluctuations during a ground-based GPS and space-borne GNSS RO experiment at the two equatorial stations. Scintillation activity was found to be more prominent at UKM. Moreover, strong scintillation with the S4 index exceeding 0.6 has only been observed at UKM, while at Langkawi the scintillation intensity (S4 index) did not exceed 0.3. Signal-to-noise measurements obtained from GNSS RO indicate that daytime scintillations are very likely caused by Esb. Our further research will be concentrated on an in-depth investigation of day-time irregularities in equatorial regions using both ground and space-borne GNSS technologies.