Equatorial Scintillation Amplitude Fading Characteristics Across the GPS Frequency Bands

Yu Jiao, Dongyang Xu, Yu Morton, Charles Rino

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Deep signal fading during ionospheric scintillation possesses a threat to GNSS signal tracking and degrades position, navigation, and timing solution accuracy. Understanding the physics and the characteristics of the signal fading is a pre-requisite to developing robust scintillation mitigation techniques for assured navigation and for utilizing GNSS signals for ionosphere and space weather studies. In this paper, intermediate frequency GPS data collected on Ascension Island in March 2013 are processed to enable comparison with phase screen theory prediction through spectral and spatial coherence analysis of the measured strong scintillation signals. In addition, signal fading level, duration, and inter-fading time distributions are obtained from the data to establish statistical relationships of fading properties across the three GPS bands. The results show that simultaneous deep fading on all three GPS bands rarely occurs, suggesting that robust carrier tracking during equatorial ionospheric scintillation can be achieved using inter-frequency aiding.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 63, Number 3
Pages: 267 - 281
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