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Detection and Characterization of Equatorial Scintillation for Real-Time Operational Support.

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Scientific rept. no. 12,

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The Phillips Laboratory Scintillation Network Decision Aid PL-SCINDA is a software tool which uses real-time data from remote sites to model ionospheric plasma depletions in the equatorial region. The remote instruments continuously measure S4 from geostationary satellite transmissions. Receivers are currently located in Antofagasta, Chile and Ancon Peru. Different combinations of receiver pairs allow measurements in eastward and westward directions for each site, drift velocity measurements, and measurements along the same magnetic field line from receivers at different latitudes. These data are used by the Discrete Scintillation Bubble Model DSBMOD, an empirical model designed to construct SD structures. The spatial extent, motion, and evolution of these structures over time are approximated using real-time data and a priori knowledge of the dynamics of equatorial depletions. The structures are visualized on a Silicon Graphics workstation in OpenGL. Our data allows us to test basic assumptions concerning vertical drift, morphology of depletion structures over long time periods, and bottom-side turbulence versus true plume formation. PL-SCINDA is capable of making short term predictions and issuing short real-time warnings in support of operational users of communications and navigational satellite links. Projection of the outlines of 3-D structures onto a 2-D map for specific satellites allows the generation of custom tailored outage maps for operational users. Routine collection of data is contributing to our understanding of depletion behavior and climatology. Future plans call for expanding the number of real-time sites, and adding GPS capability.

Subject Categories:

  • Atmospheric Physics
  • Radiofrequency Wave Propagation

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