Study of Ionospheric Scintillation Characteristics in Australia with GNSS during 2011-2015

Research paper by Kai Guo, Yan Zhao, Yang Liu, Jinling Wang, Chunxi Zhang, Yanbo Zhu

Indexed on: 23 Mar '17Published on: 18 Mar '17Published in: Advances in Space Research


Ionospheric scintillation has a great impact on radio propagation and electronic system performance, thus is extensively studied currently. The influence of ionospheric scintillation on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) is particularly evident, making GNSS an effective method to study characteristics of scintillation. In this paper, spatial-temporal statistical features of ionospheric scintillation are intensively studied based on GNSS scintillation data provided by Space Weather Service (SWS) in Australia. Most scintillation data are measured by observation stations in Australia region during 2011 to 2015. A data processing and analyzing framework is proposed to investigate scintillation features in this paper. General pictures of amplitude scintillation activities observed at different stations are first explored. It is found that scintillation activity presents a manifest seasonal variation at most stations during the researched time spans. The probabilities of amplitude scintillation of different intensities are also evaluated. In the experiment to investigate signal amplitude distributions, Nakagami-m and α-μ distribution models are applied to describe the measured amplitude distribution curves. The result shows that the α-μ model provides a more approximate description for the measured distributions. Kurtosis and information entropy are also calculated to further verify this conclusion. The proposed study is of great significance for a better understanding of ionospheric scintillation in the region of Australia, and for discovering the effects of scintillation on GNSS signals.

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