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A Proposal to Initiate Regional Studies of Ionospheric Irregularities in the African Region

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Final rept. 28 Aug 2009-28 Sep 2011

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It is well known that unique world-wide studies of ionospheric behavior have been made possible with GPS dual-frequency receivers that are designed to measure total electron content and to detect ionospheric irregularities. Unfortunately, the ionosphere over Africa has remained a mystery due to the sparse distribution of ionospheric sensors over this vast continent. Particularly, satellite observations have shown significant differences in the morphology of ionospheric irregularities over the low latitude regions at different longitudes Gentile, et al., 2006. ICTP and Boston College BC through respectively the Aeronomy and Radiopropagation Laboratory ARPL and the Institute for Scientific Research have established a partnership to promote research activities in the field of GNSS science and technology and specifically ionospheric research in Africa. Through the partnership a series of training workshops have been carried out in Trieste and African institutions contributing substantially to the establishment of a knowledgeable workforce in the continent. This Grant has allowed us to strengthen the ICTP-BC partnership and promote joint research and capacity building in the continent. In fact, the major objective of this project is to initiate studies that will fill in the fundamental gaps of information on the ionosphere behavior over the African region. As result of the work supported also by the EOARD grant, ionospheric studies in several African Universities have started involving local professors and Master and PhD students. Studies have been carried out comparing ionospheric irregularities characteristics in Africa and in South America. Other research efforts have been dedicated to the characterization of the total electron density variability over Africa and to the ionospheric electron density specification at subregional scale in the African continent by GPS total electron content data ingestion in an ionospheric electron density model.

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  • Atmospheric Physics

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