Correlation of scintillation occurrence with interplanetary magnetic field reversals and impact on Global Navigation Satellite System receiver tracking performance


Corresponding author: V. Sreeja, Nottingham Geospatial Institute, The University of Nottingham, Triumph Road, Nottingham NG7 2TU, UK. (


[1] Ionospheric scintillation is characterized by rapid fluctuations in the amplitude and phase of transionospheric radio signals as they pass through small scale ionospheric plasma density irregularities. Over the auroral regions, the occurrence of scintillation is associated with large-scale plasma structures and is mainly enhanced during geomagnetic storms. Scintillation can cause cycle slips and degrade the positioning accuracy in Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers. This paper investigates the correlation between the southward reversals of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) Bz and the occurrence of scintillation, along with the consequential impact on the tracking performance of a GNSS receiver located at a high-latitude station, Bronnoysund (geographic latitude 65°N) in Norway. The analysis revealed that the occurrence of scintillation at this station is largely controlled by the IMF conditions. The receiver tracking performance under strong scintillations is evaluated by the receiver PLL (phase-locked loop) tracking jitter variance. The dependence of the PLL jitter variance on phase scintillation can be best represented by a quadratic fit.