A multi-instrumental approach to the study of equatorial ionosphere over South America

Cesaroni, Claudio (2015) A multi-instrumental approach to the study of equatorial ionosphere over South America, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Geofisica, 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6889.
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An extensive study of the morphology and the dynamics of the equatorial ionosphere over South America is presented here. A multi parametric approach is used to describe the physical characteristics of the ionosphere in the regions where the combination of the thermospheric electric field and the horizontal geomagnetic field creates the so-called Equatorial Ionization Anomalies. Ground based measurements from GNSS receivers are used to link the Total Electron Content (TEC), its spatial gradients and the phenomenon known as scintillation that can lead to a GNSS signal degradation or even to a GNSS signal ‘loss of lock’. A new algorithm to highlight the features characterizing the TEC distribution is developed in the framework of this thesis and the results obtained are validated and used to improve the performance of a GNSS positioning technique (long baseline RTK). In addition, the correlation between scintillation and dynamics of the ionospheric irregularities is investigated. By means of a software, here implemented, the velocity of the ionospheric irregularities is evaluated using high sampling rate GNSS measurements. The results highlight the parallel behaviour of the amplitude scintillation index (S4) occurrence and the zonal velocity of the ionospheric irregularities at least during severe scintillations conditions (post-sunset hours). This suggests that scintillations are driven by TEC gradients as well as by the dynamics of the ionospheric plasma. Finally, given the importance of such studies for technological applications (e.g. GNSS high-precision applications), a validation of the NeQuick model (i.e. the model used in the new GALILEO satellites for TEC modelling) is performed. The NeQuick performance dramatically improves when data from HF radar sounding (ionograms) are ingested. A custom designed algorithm, based on the image recognition technique, is developed to properly select the ingested data, leading to further improvement of the NeQuick performance.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Cesaroni, Claudio
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze matematiche, fisiche ed astronomiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Equatorial ionosphere; Scintillation; GNSS; TEC; ionospheric irregularities.
Data di discussione
30 Aprile 2015

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