Space weather degrades GPS/GNSS operation in two ways, direct interference by solar radio burst noise in the same frequency band or by scattering of the GPS/GNSS radio signal in ionospheric irregularities referred to as scintillation. Both forms of degradation follow the 11 year solar cycle and are a maximum at sunspot maximum although they can occur at anytime. Scintillation occurs most frequently at tropical latitudes where it is a night time phenomenon. It occurs less frequently at high latitudes or mid-latitudes where magnetic storms can lead to scintillation (Wiki, 2013).
Current applications, like precision agriculture, geodesy and cartography, offshore applications, and civil aviation are benefiting from the knowledge and the technological improvements derived from observation of the impact of increased ionospheric disturbances on GNSS operations. Monitoring of scintillation requires use of receivers capable of measuring the signal phase at a high rate of at least 50Hz with an extremely low noise floor to be properly measured.
Key features to consider when choosing an ionospheric scintillation measurement instrument:
- High throughput data rate (>50Hz)
- Exhaustive signal tracking coverage (all constellations)
- Best-in-class low noise clock reference
- Internet connection
Septentrio PolaRxS has uniquely been designed to expend the capabilities of state-of-the-art monitoring solutions by combining a modern multi-frequency multi-constellation tracking engine with superior oscillator phase noise performances. Packaged in a rugged housing providing direct interface with the Internet, the PolaRxS offers a turnkey solution for monitoring local and regional ionospheric activities.
For more info on the Septentrio PolaRxS PRO visit: http://www.transitiva.com/Products/Septentrio-PolaRxS-PRO-P441.html
Questions on ionospheric scintillations and your application? Give us a call (1.888.317.8112 x1) or email us at [email protected]
Wiki (2013). Error analysis for the Global Positioning System – Natural sources of interference. Retrieved on January 28 2013 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Error_analysis_for_the_Global_Positioning_System