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Use of space-borne GPS measurements for detection of the plasma density irregularities in the topside ionosphere


Zakharenkova Irina


Planétologie et Sciences Spatiales, IPGP


Auteur(s) supplémentaire(s)Astafyeva, Elvira


We present new results on the detection of the topside ionospheric irregularities/plasma bubbles using GPS measurements from Precise Orbit Determination (POD) GPS antenna onboard Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. We use GPS measurements onboard the ESA’s constellation mission Swarm, as well as GRACE and TerraSAR-X satellite, that have rather similar orbit altitude of about 500 km. We demonstrate that LEO GPS can be an effective tool for monitoring the occurrence of the topside ionospheric irregularities and may essentially contribute to the multi-instrumental analysis of the ground-based and in situ data. In the present study we analyze the occurrence and global distribution of the equatorial ionospheric irregularities during post-sunset period. Also we consider features of the auroral and equatorial irregularities detected by multi-satellite observations during main and recovery phase for several selected geomagnetic storms. To support our observations and conclusions, we involve into our analysis in situ plasma density provided by Swarm constellation, GRACE KBR, DMSP satellites, as well as ground-based GNSS and digisonde networks. Using Swarm GPS and in situ measurements we analyzed the occurrence climatology of the intense ionospheric irregularities during 2014-2015. The obtained results demonstrate a high degree of similarities in the occurrence pattern of the seasonal and longitudinal distribution of the topside ionospheric irregularities derived on both types of the satellite observations.

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