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GPS BASED STUDY OF IONOSPHERIC TOTAL ELECTRON CONTENT (TEC) AND STUDY OF (TEC) IONOSPHERIC SCINTILLATION

Supervision of : Dr. Abhay K. Singh Atmospheric Research Lab. Department of Physics Banaras Hindu University

Submitted by : Jahnavi Gautam M.Sc. Physics (F) Session 2010-2012 2010-

EARTHS ATMOSPHERE
1. PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
Pressure
About 1 atm (or 101.3 kPa or 29.9 in Hg) at sea level. Decreases exponentially with altitude.

Thickness
Up to approximately 500 km height.

Density
Around 1.2 kg/m3 (1.2 g/L) at sea level. Decreases with increasing altitude.

Mass
Total mean mass about 5.148 1018 kg (or 1/1200000 times mass of earth).

2. COMPOSITION :

3. STRUCTURE : TROPOSPHERE :
Ranges between 9 -17 km (30000 - 56000 ft) from surface.

Weather occurs only in this layer as it contains water vapor. Almost 80% mass of atmosphere & pressure only 0.1 atm at top. Temperature decreases with altitude. Most unstable layer with constantly moving air called Turbulence.

STRATOSPHERE :
Extends from tropopause up to about 51 km (170000 ft). Temperature increases with height. Pressure reduces to 1/1000 of that at sea level. Jet airlines fly in this layer (near Tropopause).

MESOSPHERE :
From stratopause up to 80 85 km height (260000 280000 ft). Most of meteors burn up in this layer. Temperature decreases with height (with min. temp. about -100 C). Ice (frozen water vapor) clouds called Noctilucent clouds are found.

THERMOSPHERE :
Usually extends to 350 800 km (1100000 2600000 ft). Temperature increases with height (up to 1500C). ISS orbits in this layer between 320 km and 380 km.

EXOSPHERE :
About 500 km from surface & merges into space. Composed of Hydrogen and Helium. Particles follow ballistic trajectories instead of behaving like fluid. Satellites orbit here.

IONOSPHERE
Composed of weakly ionized gas or plasma. Ranges between 60 km to 1000 km from earths surface. Ionization occurs due to solar & galactic cosmic radiations. Composed of three layers; D, E & F (with further division F1 & F2 ) whose existence & thickness depends on position of sun. Becomes optically thin to ionizing radiation with increasing height.

D - LAYER :
Extends from 50 to 90 km. Lyman series - hydrogen radiation ( = 121.5 nm) ionize NO & hard Xrays ( < 1nm) due to solar activity ionize N2 & O2. Absorb HF radio waves particularly at 10 MHz & below. Disappears during night (recombination rate >> ionization rate).

E - LAYER (Kennelly Heaviside Layer) :


Lies above D layer & extends from 90 to 120 km. Soft X-rays ( ionization. = 1 to 10nm) & extreme UV solar radiation causes

Reflect radio waves of frequencies < 10 MHz & during intense sporadic events frequencies of range 25-250 MHz.

F - LAYER (Appleton Layer) :


Topmost layer of ionosphere, extends from 120 to 1000 km. Ionization due to extreme UV solar radiation (Lyman continuum photon with = 10 to 100nm). Facilitates HF & shortwave radio communications over long distances. F1 (lower layer) lies between 150 to 200 km. F2 (upper layer) lies between 200 to 1000 km.

IONOSPHERIC MODEL :
Mathematical description of ionosphere expressed as computer program (function of Location, Altitude, Day of year, Phase of sunspot cycle & Geomagnetic activity). State of ionospheric plasma described by ; Electron density, Electron & Ion temperature, & Ionic composition. Major data sources ; worldwide network of ionosondes, powerful incoherent scatter radars, ISIS & Alouette topside sounders, & instruments on several satellites & rockets.

IONOSPHERIC PERTURBATIONS :
Sudden Ionospheric Disturbances (SID) : Due to hard X-rays from solar flares, that cause HF radio blackout & end with the X-rays. Polar Cap Absorption (PCA) : High-energy protons increase ionization of D & E layers, & lasts for an hour to several days. Geomagnetic Storms : Intense disturbance of magnetosphere causes F2 layer to become unstable, fragment or even disappear completely. Lightning : Lightning-induced Electron Precipitation (LEP) in D-layer through Whistlers or by huge motion of charges in lightning strikes.

TOTAL ELECTRON CONTENT (TEC)


Total number of electrons present along path of unit cross-sectional area, between satellite & ground. Unit : electrons/m2 (1016 electrons/m2 = 1 TEC Unit or TECU). Used to determine scintillation & group delay of radio signals transmitted from GPS satellites. Varies with season, time, latitude & solar activity. Time delay is proportional to TEC & inversely proportional to square of operating frequency. GPS data provides efficient way to estimate TEC with great Spatial & Temporal coverage.

METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS & TECHNIQUES :


TEC or STEC (Slant Total Electron Content) is defined by ;

STEC

Nds

where, N - electron density, S & R (integration limits) - position of satellite & receiver respectively. STEC is converted to VTEC (Vertical Total Electron Content) by ;

VTEC

! [STEC

 ( b r  b s )] / S (E l )

where, br & bs - receiver & satellite biases respectively, El - elevation angel of satellite (in degrees), S(El) - obliquity factor with zenith angle ( ) at Ionospheric Pierce Point (IPP). Here S(El) is given by ;
2

R E cos( E l ) 1 S ( El ) ! ! 1  RE  h cos( G )

1 / 2

where, RE - mean Earths radius (in km), h - ionospheric effective height.

SCINTILLATION
Random fluctuations in intensity of radio waves. Affected by Solar wind (plasma composed of electrons & lone protons). Scintillation index ; RMS intensity fluctuations relative to mean intensity from source & utilized as measure of solar wind (velocity, structure, density).

GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM (GPS)


24 hours, all weather, space based navigation system. Determines position (latitude, longitude & altitude), velocity & time in a common reference frame, anywhere on or near earth.

GPS
SP S G
Consist of 24 -32 satellites rotating in 6 orbits around the earth.

CONTROL SEGMENT
Consist of 6 monitoring stations around the world including a Master Control Station.

USER SEGMENT
Consist of Receivers being used throughout the world by different users for different purposes.

SPACE SEGMENT :
24 satellites in 6 earth centered orbits (at 60 separation & inclined to equator at 55) with 4 satellites in each orbit. Satellites at 20200 km (10900 nmi) height move with 3.9 km/s velocity in 11 hours 58 minutes. At least 4 satellites visible anytime from anywhere on earth. Satellites transmit signals at two frequencies, L1 (1575.42 MHz) and L2 (1227.6 MHz) with = 19 cm & 24 cm respectively.

CONTROL SEGMENT :
Consist of Master Control Station, worldwide network of monitor stations & ground antennas. Monitor stations transmit radiometer data to master control station for further processing.

USER SEGMENT :
Ground-based GPS receiver units that process GPS signals and compute position or velocity of user. Function automatically & often provide visual or verbal positional guidance.

GPS POSITIONING SERVICES :


Precise Positioning Services (PPS) : Mainly for military use (civilian use with special DoD approval) PPS is controlled through 2 cryptographic features ; Anti Spoofing (AS) & Selective Availability (SA). Standard Positioning Services (SPS) : Free for civilian use, its accuracy is more than 13 m (95%) in horizontal plane & more than 22 m (95%) in vertical plane with time accuracy better than 40 ns (95%).

PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION :
Each satellite defines a sphere (with radius equal to distance between satellite & receiver, called Pseudo Range) on which user may be located. Intersecting point of three such spheres gives the exact position of user. The pseudo range obtained from fourth satellite determines the receiver clock bias with satellite clock. User position is determined by solving the system of equations ;

Pj !

s ju

 ct

(1)

where, sj-u - range of user in earth centered coordinate system, j no. of satellite, u - user position, c - speed of light, t - time.

Equation (1) can be elaborated as ;


1

! ! ! !

   

   

   

2 2 u
u

   

   

2 2 u
u

 ct  ct  ct

2 u
u

 ct

where, (xu , yu ,zu) - position of user in earth centered coordinate system, tu - time.

GPS ERROR SOURCES :


Satellite Clock Error : About 8.64 to 17.28 ns. Ephemeris Error : Error of about 1 m. Multipath Error Receiver Noise : Noise by antenna, amplifiers, cables & receiver. Varies with signal strength which varies with satellite elevation angle. Atmospheric Errors : Introduced by ionosphere & troposphere.

IONOSPHERIC DELAY :
Results in pseudo ranges measured too long as compared to geometric range, due to group delay experienced by signal. Depends on TEC, geomagnetic latitude of receiver, time of day & angle of elevation of satellite. Removed by using dual frequency GPS observations. Excess phase delay tp (in seconds) incurred by GPS signal is ;

(tp ! 

40 . 3 v TEC cf 2

where, c velocity of light (in m/s), f operating frequency (in Hz). Negative phase delay imparts that phase is advanced. Excess phase delay (I ) in meters is ;

I * ! c.( t p ! 

40 . 3 v TEC f2

Excess group delay (I ) in meters is ;

I V ! c.( t g !

40 . 3 v TEC f2

Thus ionospheric delay in terms of pseudo range & carrier phase are equal in magnitude but opposite in sign, i.e. ;

I* !  IV ! 

40 . 3 v TEC f2

100 TECU can produce time delay of 54 ns or range error of 16.2 m on L1 & time delay of 89 ns or range error of 26.7 m on L2.

TROPOSPHERIC DELAY :
Causes delay in both code & carrier of signal. Does not depend on frequency so, cannot be eliminated easily. Rather depends on temperature, pressure & humidity. Categorized as Hydrostatic delay or Dry delay (about 90% of delay) & Wet delay (varies with atmospheric conditions). Hydrostatic delay can be approximated by the relation ;

D c ! 2 . 27 v 0 . 001 v P0 where, Dc - dry ran e contribution of zenith direction (in meters), P0 surface pressure (in millibars).

APPLICATIONS OF GPS :
GPS applications encompass diversified fields of Industry, & Data collection, Agriculture & Forestry, Navigation, Mappin Surveyin , En ineerin , Military, Science, Transportation, Biomedical, Recreation, Maritime and Sports.

IONOSPHERIC STUDIES WITH GPS :


Diurnal Variation of TEC : Variation of TEC durin different hours of the day over a region. Day-to-day Variation of TEC : Variation of TEC on different days over a region. Seasonal Variation of TEC : Variation of TEC with chan in seasons. Variation of Equatorial Ionospheric Anomaly (EIA). Space Weather effect on Ionospheric TEC : Geoma netic storm occurrin due to space weather, affects largely the Ionospheric TEC.

GPS DATA RECORDING FACILITY AT BHU


GSV 4004B GPS Ionospheric Scintillation & TEC Monitor (GISTM) receiver is used for data collection at Department of Physics, BHU. NovAtel Euro-3M dual frequency receiver with special firmware, comprises major components of GPS signal monitor, specifically configured to measure amplitude & phase scintillation from L1 frequency &, TEC from L1 & L2 frequency GPS signals.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS


Study of TEC diurnal variation & ionospheric scintillation, for January March 2011 at low latitude station Varanasi (near anomaly crest, geoma netic lat. 140 55 N & lon . 1540 E). Data obtained from GPS satellites with PRN 2 to 32.

STUDY OF DIURNAL VARIATION OF TEC :


Diurnal variation of VTEC on 23rd Jan 2011 shows peak value 82.5 TECU at around 8 hrs (13:30 IST). Diurnal variation of VTEC on 1st Feb 2011 shows peak value 73 TECU at around 6.5 hrs (12 IST). Diurnal variation of VTEC on 3rd Mar 2011 shows peak value 119 TECU at around 9 hrs (14:30 IST). Peak value of VTEC always observed just after midday in after noon hours (between 12 to 14:30 hrs).

Diurnal VTEC variation on 23rd January 2011 (in UT)

Diurnal VTEC variation on 1st February 2011 (in UT)

Diurnal VTEC variation on 3rd March 2011 (in UT)

STUDY OF DIURNALS MEAN VARIATION OF TEC :


In January 2011, peak VTEC value (mean value) obtained was 76 TECU at about 7.5 hrs (13:00 IST). In February 2011, peak VTEC value (mean value) obtained was 88 TECU at about 6 hrs (11:30 IST). In March 2011, peak VTEC value (mean value) obtained was 118.8 TECU at about 9 hrs (14:30 IST). VTEC value observed maximum durin January. March and minimum durin

Diurnal mean variation of VTEC for the month of January 2011

Diurnal mean variation of VTEC for the month of February 2011

Diurnal mean variation of VTEC for the month of March 2011

STUDY OF SCINTILLATION INDEX VARIATION OVER VARANASI :


To study ionospheric plasma bubbles occurrence, the study of scintillation index (S4) variation over Varanasi has been done. S4 values greater than 0.15 used as threshold value for occurrence of plasma bubbles. S4 values greater than 0.15 in January 2011 was on 23rd & 25th Jan. S4 values greater than 0.15 in February 2011 was on 11th , 13th & 14th Feb. On 23rd & 25th Jan, & 11th, 13th & 14th Feb, S4 values exceed 0.2, thus shows occurrence of plasma bubbles.

Variation of Scintillation Index S4 greater than 0.15 on 23rd Jan 2011

Variation of S4 values obtained throughout the day from all PRN on 23rd Jan 2011

Variation of Scintillation Index S4 greater than 0.15 on 25th Jan 2011

Variation of S4 values obtained throughout the day from all PRN on 25th Jan 2011

Variation of Scintillation Index S4 greater than 0.15 on 11th Feb 2011

Variation of S4 values obtained throughout the day from all PRN on 11th Feb 2011

Variation of Scintillation Index S4 greater than 0.15 on 13th Feb 2011

Variation of S4 values obtained throughout the day from all PRN on 13th Feb 2011

Variation of Scintillation Index S4 greater than 0.15 on 14th Feb 2011

Variation of S4 values obtained throughout the day from all PRN on 14th Feb 2011

CONCLUSIONS
Ionospheric TEC peak around afternoon hours (Local Time). Monthly mean variation of TEC is maximum durin minimum durin January. March &

Variability of TEC depends on EUV-flux, geoma netic activity, electrojet stren th (EEJ) and local atmospheric condition in thermosphere. But at low latitude station it mainly depends on Equatorial Ionization Anomaly (EIA). Study of ionospheric plasma bubbles over Varanasi usin GPS scintillation measurements durin January-March 2011 shows maximum durin February.