Assessing the GNSS scintillation climate over Brazil under increasing solar activity
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We study ionospheric scintillation on GNSS signals at equatorial latitudes to draw a climatological picture of the low latitude ionosphere in the Brazilian sector during the ascending phase of the upcoming 2013 solar maximum. Such data have been acquired during the early stage of the CIGALA project (http://cigala.galileoic.org/), funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Program and the outcome of this work is part of the scientific achievements of the project itself. The considered network is based on the novel PolaRxS receivers, developed and deployed specifically to comply with the aims of the FP7 project. The PolaRxS is able to monitor ionospheric scintillation for all operational and upcoming GNSS constellations (GPS, GLONASS, Compass, GALILEO) and corresponding frequencies in the L-band. The ionosphere over the Brazilian territory, being close to the southern crest of the Equatorial Ionospheric Anomaly (EIA), is heavily affected by intense scintillation conditions. The sector under investigation is also very peculiar with respect to other low latitude regions, because of its proximity to the South Atlantic Magnetic Anomaly (SAMA). The application of the Ground Based Scintillation Climatology (GBSC) technique, for the first time simultaneously on GPS and GLONASS data and on both L1 and L2 frequencies, highlights the joint effect of the EIA and of the SAMA in producing the irregularities leading to scintillation. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.