American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences

GPS Ionospheric Total Electron Content and Scintillation Measurements during the October 2003 Magnetic Storm

Mohammad Awad Momani, Takialddin A. Al Smadi, Farouq M. Al Taweel and Khaldoon A. Ghaidan

DOI : 10.3844/ajeassp.2011.301.306

American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Volume 4, Issue 2

Pages 301-306

Abstract

Problem Statement: Ionospheric scintillations, cause significant effects on satellite signals for communication and navigation in equatorial region and polar regions mainly during sever magnetic storms periods. This phenomenon is not fully understood due to few studies performed. The study investigates variability of Total Electron Content (TEC) and ionospheric scintillation during October 2003 magnetic storm over Antarctica using ground based GPS technique. Approach: The TEC/scintillation measuring system at Scott Base station, consists of Trimble TS5700 24-channel (a high-precision dual-frequency GPS receiver), a Trimble Zephyr Geodetic antenna and a notebook computer for data logging. The absolute GPS TEC was calculated from differential phase advance GPS observables (1-L2). The GPS signal-to-noise ratios (C/No) and 1/L2 carrier frequencies were employed to determine the scintillation index S4 every 60 s, amplitude scintillation (in dB-Hz) and phase scintillation. Results: The GPS measurements during storm periods at Scott Base show pronounced phase and amplitude scintillation activities, sudden increase in TEC followed by trough-like figure depletions. The maximum value of phase scintillation during the main phase of third episode was 8.3 times the value during Sudden Storm Commencement (SSC) period. Measured amplitude scintillation and S4 index on both 1 and L2 signals are >15dB-Hz and >0.4dB-Hz respectively. Conclusion/Recommendation: The timing and intensity of TEC and scintillation measurements during the storm event were are in a good agreement with WDC measurements. For this particular event, the duration of enhanced periods were approximately 12 h while periods of TEC depletions were more than 30 h. This value implies better understanding of the polar ionospheric response to magnetic storm and eases efforts for better space weather prediction in this region.

Copyright

© 2011 Mohammad Awad Momani, Takialddin A. Al Smadi, Farouq M. Al Taweel and Khaldoon A. Ghaidan. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.