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AGU: Space Weather



  • Equatorial Ionosphere
  • Ionospheric irregularities
  • Receiver tracking performance

Index Terms

  • 2415 - Equatorial ionosphere
  • 2439 - Ionospheric irregularities
  • 6934 - Ionospheric propagation
  • 7924 - Forecasting

Paper in Press

SPACE WEATHER, doi:10.1029/2012SW000769

Correlation Analysis between Ionospheric Scintillation Levels and Receiver Tracking Performance

Key Points
  • Address the effect of scintillation on receiver signal tracking
  • New technique to evaluate the receiver tracking performance
  • Important for GNSS users in view of the forthcoming solar maximum


Vadakke Veettil Sreeja

Marcio Aquino

Z. G. Elmas

Biagio Forte

Rapid fluctuations in the amplitude and phase of a transionospheric radio signal caused by small scale plasma density irregularities in the ionosphere are known as scintillation. Scintillation can seriously impair a GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) receiver tracking performance, thus affecting the required levels of availability, accuracy and integrity, and consequently the reliability of modern day GNSS based applications. This paper presents an analysis of correlation between scintillation levels and tracking performance of a GNSS receiver for GPS L1C/A, L2C and GLONASS L1, L2 signals. The analyses make use of data recorded over Presidente Prudente (22.1{degree}S, 51.4{degree}W, dip latitude ~ 12.3{degree}S) in Brazil, a location close to the Equatorial Ionisation Anomaly (EIA) crest in Latin America. The study presents for the first time this type of correlation analysis for GPS L2C and GLONASS L1, L2 signals. The scintillation levels are defined by the amplitude scintillation index, S4 and the receiver tracking performance is evaluated by the phase tracking jitter. Both S4 and the phase tracking jitter are estimated from the post correlation In-Phase (I) and Quadra-Phase (Q) components logged by the receiver at a high rate. Results reveal that the dependence of the phase tracking jitter on the scintillation levels can be represented by a quadratic fit for the signals. The results presented in this paper are of importance to GNSS users, especially in view of the forthcoming high phase of solar cycle 24 (predicted for 2013).

Received 17 January 2012; accepted 13 May 2012.

Citation: Sreeja, V. V., M. Aquino, Z. G. Elmas, and B. Forte (2012), Correlation Analysis between Ionospheric Scintillation Levels and Receiver Tracking Performance, Space Weather, doi:10.1029/2012SW000769, in press.