Conference Paper

Forecasting of low-latitude ionospheric scintillation using a physics-based model

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Determining the rate of change of the virtual height associated with a specific ionosonde frequency provides a proxy for vertical plasma drift (PVPD). Anderson et al. (2004) demonstrated that PVPDs at a location on the magnetic equator between 1830 and 2000 local time (LT) can be used as an indicator for the occurrence of low-latitude ionospheric scintillation during the following night. However, the method is unable to provide significant forecast antecedence as the 1830 - 2000 LT forecast window must have begun (and ended if large PVPDs are not observed) before a forecast can be issued for that location. A further limitation is the requirement of a local ionosonde. This work proposes the adaptation of the PVPD forecasting technique to use output from a physics-based ionosphere model. Applying this technique at regularly spaced longitudes provides a computationally cheap method for global low-latitude scintillation forecasting with increased forecast antecedence and without the need for local ionosondes.

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... The number of S4 .0.2 during the months of February, March, October, and November together was 41,331 at BOA (60.6% of the total of the year), 4466 at HUA (85.6% of the year), and 17,355 at CUI (67.9% of the year). The dependence on solar activity and on seasonality agrees with previous work, such as [9] from Oceania and [10] from the Asian sector. In the South American sector, [11] found similar results using an hourly analysis from a previous solar cycle. ...
The importance of studying ionospheric phenomena increases as society modernizes and makes use of technologies that require the usage of orbiting satellites. Their signals suffer scintillation at the ionosphere due to its irregularities. This work aims to quantify the moderate to strong scintillations at three different regions (magnetic equator and its southern and northern regions) during a full year of solar minimum and maximum. Its occurrence increases substantially with solar activity and is higher at the regions of Equatorial Ionospheric Anomaly crests. There is also an important increase of scintillation during the months of spring and summer of the southern hemisphere.
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Ionospheric scintillations caused by equatorial plasma bubbles (EPBs) can seriously affect various high technology systems based on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals at equatorial and low latitudes. A reliable prediction of ionospheric scintillation occurrence is critical to relieve the effect. Using the long‐term ground‐based GNSS receiver and ionosonde data collected in the Brazilian longitude sector during 2012–2020, an ionospheric strong scintillation prediction model based on the gradient boosting algorithms extreme gradient boosting (XGBoost), light gradient boosting machine (LightGBM), and CatBoost is created and tested. It is for the first time that the XGBoost, LightGBM, and CatBoost are utilized to predict the day‐to‐day occurrence of regional ionospheric scintillation during post‐sunset hours. The relative importance of different parameters affecting EPB/scintillation occurrence for building the prediction model is examined. A comparison of daily scintillation occurrence from the modeled and observed results during 2014 (solar maximum) and 2020 (solar minimum) shows that the gradient boosting algorithms are effective for predicting strong scintillations over low latitude, with a prediction accuracy of ∼85%. The results suggest that the trained model with input of total electron content, equatorial F layer peak height and critical frequency before sunset could be well employed to predict the occurrence/nonoccurrence of intense scintillations over low latitude after sunset on a daily basis.
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