Development of a Long-term Climatology and Geomagnetic Storm Response Familiarization Tool on Low-latitude Ionospheric Scintillation Occurrence for Use in Civil Aviation Applications

Rezy Pradipta, Charles S. Carrano, Keith M. Groves, and Patricia H. Doherty

Abstract: We report on our recent efforts to assemble and codify the broad collective knowledge and understanding on the climatology of equatorial plasma bubbles (EPB) and low-latitude ionospheric scintillation occurrence, which had long existed in the scientific literature, into a computerized graphical user interface (GUI) tool. The development of this EPB climatology tool is motivated by threats posed by EPB and scintillations to the availability and integrity of global navigation satellite system (GNSS) applications in civil aviation. With a steady growth in the adoption of ground-based augmentation systems (GBAS) and space-based augmentation systems (SBAS) at airports and airspaces around the globe, a general familiarity in EPB and scintillation occurrence climatology is gradually becoming a key priority. Such a basic familiarity with the climatological patterns of EPB and scintillation occurrence would be necessary not only for those in the research and development sides of aviation-related GNSS applications, but possibly also for those in the operational, management, and policy-making sides of civil aviation. This prototype EPB climatology tool systematically summarizes the spatial and temporal variability of EPB and low-latitude ionospheric scintillation occurrence around the globe based on a representative set of empirical data gathered from the scientific literature. On the spatial variability aspect, the program delineates the dependence of EPB and scintillation occurrence probability on longitude and latitude. On the temporal variability aspect, the program delineates the dependence of EPB and scintillation occurrence probability on seasons of the year, hour of the day, and the 11-year solar cycle. In addition to long-term climatology, the program also summarizes the expected effects of geomagnetic activity on the EPB occurrence likelihood. We have presently implemented this EPB climatology tool in two separate formats: one as a MATLAB program and another version in HTML/Javascript for ease of access on a Boston College web server.
Published in: Proceedings of the 34th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2021)
September 20 - 24, 2021
Union Station Hotel
St. Louis, Missouri
Pages: 3859 - 3869
Cite this article: Pradipta, Rezy, Carrano, Charles S., Groves, Keith M., Doherty, Patricia H., "Development of a Long-term Climatology and Geomagnetic Storm Response Familiarization Tool on Low-latitude Ionospheric Scintillation Occurrence for Use in Civil Aviation Applications," Proceedings of the 34th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2021), St. Louis, Missouri, September 2021, pp. 3859-3869.
https://doi.org/10.33012/2021.18045
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