A Study on Ionospheric Irregularities and Associated Scintillations Using Multi-Constellation GNSS Observations

Zhizhao Liu, Zhe Yang, and Wu Chen

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Ionospheric scintillation as one of the earliest known effects of space weather is a major issue in the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). While being vulnerable to ionospheric scintillations, GNSS signals in return provide valuable information for understanding ionospheric variability and space weather. By taking advantage of multi-constellation GNSS observations from a variety of receivers (i.e., Javad, Leica, Trimble and Septentrio) equipped at zero baseline or a short baseline, the impacts of associated scintillations on GNSS signals and the ionospheric plasma irregularities are investigated in the present study. The 1-sec rate of change of total electron content (TEC) index is utilized to characterize the ionospheric plasma irregularities. It is found that the GLONASS L2 signal is the most vulnerable to ionospheric scintillation effects, and the Beidou B1 and B2 signals are subject to more scintillations than GPS L1, L2 signals, GLONASS L1 signal. Among the signals of each GNSS system, the largest strength of scintillations is observed by the GPS L5 signal, the GLONASS L1 signal and the Beidou B2 signal. In general, the strength of the amplitude scintillation of GNSS signals decreases with the increase frequency. Besides the impact of ionospheric scintillations on multi-GNSS signals, an inconsistent representation in ionospheric plasma irregularities by 1-sec ROTI derived from multi-constellation GNSS measurements is found among the diverse GNSS receivers (i.e. Javad, Leica, Trimble and Septentrio receivers). It is suspected that the various tracking techniques adopted in those receivers may be responsible for the discrepancy. Further study is still needed for seeking the possible reasons. This study contributes to the knowledge of ionospheric irregularities and associated scintillations using multi-constellation GNSS observations.
Published in: Proceedings of the ION 2017 Pacific PNT Meeting
May 1 - 4, 2017
Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa
Honolulu, Hawaii
Pages: 851 - 865
Cite this article: Liu, Zhizhao, Yang, Zhe, Chen, Wu, "A Study on Ionospheric Irregularities and Associated Scintillations Using Multi-Constellation GNSS Observations," Proceedings of the ION 2017 Pacific PNT Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, May 2017, pp. 851-865.
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