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Radio Science

Model of equatorial scintillations from in-situ measurements


  • Sunanda Basu,

  • S. Basu,

  • B. K. Khan


In-situ measurements of F-region irregularity amplitude and ambient electron density made by the retarding potential analyzer on OGO-6 near the perigee altitude of 400 km have been utilized to derive the variation of electron density deviation over the equatorial region. Based on these measured electron density deviations and other assumed model parameters including a three-dimensional power law form of irregularity spectrum with index 4, a model of equatorial scintillations is developed in the framework of diffraction theory. The percentage occurrence contours of estimated equatorial scintillations ≥ 4.5 dB at 140 MHz during 1900–2300 LMT for the period November–December 1969 and 1970 have been derived. The model is found to depict a pronounced longitude variation with the scintillation belt width and percentage occurrence being maximum over the African sector. The latitude extent of the spatial scintillation belt narrows over the American sector without much decrease in the scintillation occurrence whereas over the Indian and Far Eastern sectors both the extent and the occurrence are found to decrease. The percentage occurrence of scintillations estimated from this model is found to be consistent with VHF scintillation measurements at Ghana, Huancayo, and Calcutta. In addition, the model was found to be in qualitative agreement with GHz observations at various longitudes made by the COMSAT group. The effects of varying model parameters on scintillation estimates at VHF, UHF, and GHz are discussed. Implications of the observed longitudinal variation of scintillations on current theories of equatorial irregularity formation are indicated.

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