Geomagnetic Storm Induced Mid-latitude Ionospheric Plasma Irregularities and Their Implications for GPS Positioning over North America: A Case Study

Zhe Yang, Sebastijan Mrak, Y. Jade Morton

Abstract: This paper presents mid-latitude ionospheric plasma irregularities associated with a geomagnetic storm and their impacts on high-precision GPS positioning solutions. We focus on the geomagnetic storm on 7-8 September 2017. Our study shows the vulnerability of mid-latitude GPS positioning to this geomagnetic storm event due to the storm-induced plasma irregularities. Results indicate more than 80% GPS stations over North America experienced large position errors (>0.5 m) within 30°-60° latitudes in the earlier period of the storm. Afterwards, the impacts became less significant and the large position error mainly concentrated within 50°-60° latitudes. The considerable degradation in the position accuracy correlates with occurrence of cycle slips that was attributed to ionospheric scintillations of GPS signals. This study allows us to improve knowledge of ionosphere response impacts on GPS at middle latitudes under extreme space weather conditions and increase awareness towards development of mitigation and predication means.
Published in: 2020 IEEE/ION Position, Location and Navigation Symposium (PLANS)
April 20 - 23, 2020
Hilton Portland Downtown
Portland, Oregon
Pages: 234 - 238
Cite this article: Yang, Zhe, Mrak, Sebastijan, Morton, Y. Jade, "Geomagnetic Storm Induced Mid-latitude Ionospheric Plasma Irregularities and Their Implications for GPS Positioning over North America: A Case Study," 2020 IEEE/ION Position, Location and Navigation Symposium (PLANS), Portland, Oregon, April 2020, pp. 234-238.
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