Analysis of strong ionospheric scintillation events measured by means of GPS signals at low latitudes during disturbed conditions


  • B. Forte

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Engineering Surveying and Space Geodesy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
    2. Centre for Atmospheric Research, University of Nova Gorica, Nova Gorica, Slovenia
    • Corresponding author: B. Forte, Centre for Atmospheric Research, University of Nova Gorica, Vipavska 13, SI-5000, Nova Gorica, Slovenia. (

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[1] Drifting structures characterized by inhomogeneities in the spatial electron density distribution at ionospheric heights cause the scintillation of radio waves propagating through. The fractional electron density fluctuations and the corresponding scintillation levels may reach extreme values at low latitudes during high solar activity. Different levels of scintillation were observed on experimental data collected in the Asian sector at low latitudes by means of a GPS dual frequency receiver under moderate solar activity (2005). The GPS receiver used in these campaigns was particularly modified in firmware in order to record power estimates on the C/A code as well as on the carriers L1 and L2. Strong scintillation activity was recorded in the post-sunset period (saturatingS4 and SI as high as 20 dB). Spectral modifications and broadening was observed during high levels of scintillation possibly indicating refractive scattering taking place instead of diffractive scattering. A possible interpretation of those events was attempted on the basis of the refractive scattering theory developed by Uscinski (1968) and Booker and MajidiAhi (1981).