Climatology characteristics of ionospheric irregularities described with GNSS ROTI

At equatorial and high latitudes, the intense ionospheric irregularities and plasma density gradients can seriously affect the performances of radio communication and satellite-based navigation systems; that represents a challenging topic for the scientific and engineering communities and operational use of communication and navigation services. The GNSS-based ROTI (rate of TEC index) is one of the most widely used indices to monitor the occurrence and intensity of ionospheric irregularities. In this paper, we examined the long-term performance of the ROTI in terms of finding the climatological characteristics of TEC fluctuations. We considered the different scale temporal signatures and checked the general sensitivity to the solar and geomagnetic activity. We retrieved and analyzed long-term time-series of ROTI values for two chains of GNSS stations located in European and North-American regions. This analysis covers three full years of the 24th solar cycle, which represent different levels of solar activity and include periods of intense geomagnetic storms. The ionospheric irregularities' geographical distribution, as derived from ROTI, shows a reasonable consistency to be found within the poleward/equatorward boundaries of the auroral oval specified by empirical models. During magnetic midnight and quiet-time conditions, the equatorward boundary of the ROTI-derived ionospheric irregularity zone was observed at 65-70 degrees of north magnetic latitude, while for local noon conditions this boundary was more poleward at 75-85 magnetic latitude. The ionospheric irregularities of low-to-moderate intensity were found to occur within the auroral oval at all levels of geomagnetic activity and seasons. At moderate and high levels of solar activity, the intensities of ionospheric irregularities are larger during local winter conditions than for the local summer and polar day conditions. We found that ROTI displays a selective latitudinal sensitivity to the auroral electrojet activity-the strongest dependence (correlation R > 0.6-0.8) was observed within a narrow latitudinal range of 55-70 degrees N magnetic latitude, which corresponded to a band of the largest ROTI values within the auroral oval zone expanded equatorward during geomagnetic disturbances.

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Author Kotulak, Kacper
Zakharenkova, Irina
Krankowski, Andrzej
Cherniak, Iurii
Wang, Ningbo
Fron, Adam
Publisher UCAR/NCAR - Library
Publication Date 2020-08-14T00:00:00
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Topic Category geoscientificInformation
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Metadata Date 2023-08-18T18:33:27.302496
Metadata Record Identifier edu.ucar.opensky::articles:24945
Metadata Language eng; USA
Suggested Citation Kotulak, Kacper, Zakharenkova, Irina, Krankowski, Andrzej, Cherniak, Iurii, Wang, Ningbo, Fron, Adam. (2020). Climatology characteristics of ionospheric irregularities described with GNSS ROTI. UCAR/NCAR - Library. Accessed 21 September 2023.

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