Title: Monitoring Space Weather with GNSS Networks: Expanding GNSS networks into Northern Alaska and Northwestern Canada
Author(s): Anthea J. Coster, Susan Skone, Donald Hampton, Eric Donovan
Published in: Proceedings of the 30th International Technical Meeting of The Satellite Division of the Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2017)
September 25 - 29, 2017
Oregon Convention Center
Portland, Oregon
Pages: 2055 - 2066
Cite this article: Coster, Anthea J., Skone, Susan, Hampton, Donald, Donovan, Eric, "Monitoring Space Weather with GNSS Networks: Expanding GNSS networks into Northern Alaska and Northwestern Canada," Proceedings of the 30th International Technical Meeting of The Satellite Division of the Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2017), Portland, Oregon, September 2017, pp. 2055-2066.
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Abstract: In October 2015, The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a National Space Weather Strategy and an accompanying National Space Weather Action Plan aimed at improving the United State’s ability to prepare, avoid, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the potentially devastating impacts of space weather. The primary phenomena that produce space weather impacts on the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) include: the introduction of large gradients in the ionospheric total electron content (TEC); the rapid variation of a signal’s amplitude and/or phase (scintillation); and/or the sudden increase in background L-band noise. These phenomena have the potential to severely impact users of GNSS services, and at minimum, require that users, specifically those with high accuracy requirements, be aware of current space weather conditions. Among the major deficiencies in the current network of GNSS receivers are the lack of GNSS monitors in the auroral regions of Canada and Alaska, specifically those that can provide near-real time access to total electron content (TEC) and scintillation. To rectify some of these deficiencies there is a new plan to install an additional thirty-five GNSS receivers in Northern Alaska and northwestern Canada (Northern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba). Key advances of this plan will be: 1) the incorporation GLONASS total electron content data, along with GPS measurements, into global TEC maps; 2) the development of a real-time (or near real-time) capability of TEC measurements, and 3) the development of software that triggers the collection of the high-rate scintillation data across the sensor network. High-rate GNSS data are required for detailed analysis of scintillation during active time periods. As a pathfinder, a single GNSS receiver was installed in Venetie Alaska, recording high-rate data from multiple satellite constellations. We will provide specific case examples of high-latitude phenomena impacted by space weather and discuss our experiences with the additional receiver in Venetie, AK during time periods of moderately severe space weather events. We will summarize by providing a detailed plan for our deployment of additional receivers.