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Effects of Small-Scale Ionospheric Irregularities on GNSS Radio Occultation Signals: Evaluations Using Multiple Phase Screen Simulator
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7769-8641
2019 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Radio Occultation (RO) is a remote sensing technique which uses Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals tracked by a Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite to sound the earth's atmosphere both in low (troposphere, stratosphere) and high (ionosphere) altitudes. GNSS-RO provides global coverage and SI traceable measurements of atmospheric data with high-vertical resolution. Refractivity, dry temperature, pressure and water vapour profiles retrieved from RO measurements have a relevant contribution in Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) systems and in climate-monitoring.

Due to the partial propagation through the ionosphere, a systematic bias is added to the lower atmospheric data product. Most of this contribution is removed by a linear combination of data for two frequencies. In climatology studies, one can apply a second-order correction - so called κ-correction - which relies on a priori information on the conditions in the ionosphere. However, both approaches do not remove high-order terms in the error due to horizontal gradient and earth's geomagnetic fields. The remaining residual ionospheric error (RIE) and its systematic bias in RO atmospheric data is a well-known issue and its mitigation is an open research topic.

In this licentiate dissertation, the residual ionospheric error after the standard correction is evaluated with computational simulations using a wave optics propagator (WOP). Multiple Phase Screen (MPS) method is used to simulate occultation events in different ionospheric scenarios, e.g. quiet and disturbed conditions. Electron density profiles (EDP) assumed in simulations are either defined by analytical equations or measurements. The disturbed cases are modelled as small-scale irregularities within F-region in two different ways: as sinusoidal fluctuations; and by using a more complex approach, where the irregularities follow a single-slope power-law that yields moderate to strong scintillation in the signal amplitude. Possible errors in MPS simulations assuming long segment of orbit and ionosphere are also evaluated.

The results obtained with the sinusoidal disturbances show minor influence in the RIE after the standard correction, with the major part of the error due to the F-region peak. The implementation of the single-slope power-law is validated and the fluctuations obtained in simulation show good agreement to the ones observed in RO measurements. Finally, an alternative to overcome limitations in MPS simulations considering occultations with long segment of orbit and ionosphere is introduced and validated.

The small-scale irregularities modelled in F-region with the power-law can be added in simulations of a large dataset subjected to κ-correction, in order to evaluate the RIE bending angle and the consequences in atmospheric parameters, e.g. temperature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2019.
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Licentiate Dissertation Series, ISSN 1650-2140 ; 16
Keywords [en]
GNSS Radio Occultation (GNSS-RO); Ionosphere; Scintillation
National Category
Remote Sensing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-18907ISBN: 978-91-7295-392-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-18907DiVA, id: diva2:1370308
Presentation
2019-12-12, 08:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
NRPF-3, Rymdstyrelsen, 241/15
Funder
Swedish National Space BoardAvailable from: 2019-11-15 Created: 2019-11-14 Last updated: 2019-11-26Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Evaluation of Ionospheric Scintillation in GNSS Radio Occultation Measurements and Simulations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evaluation of Ionospheric Scintillation in GNSS Radio Occultation Measurements and Simulations
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2019 (English)In: Radio Science, ISSN 0048-6604, E-ISSN 1944-799XArticle in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Like any other system relying on trans-ionospheric propagation, GNSS Radio Occultation (GNSS-RO) is affected by ionospheric conditions during measurements. Regions of plasma irregularities in F-region create abrupt gradients in the distribution of ionized particles. Radio signals propagated through such regions suffer from constructive and destructive contributions in phase and amplitude, known as scintillations. Different approaches have been proposed in order to model and reproduce the wave propagation through ionospheric irregularities. We present simulations considering an one-component inverse power-law model of irregularities integrated with Multiple Phase Screen (MPS) propagation. In this work, the capability of the scintillation model to reproduce features in the signal amplitude of low latitude MetOp measurements in the early hours of DOY 76, 2015 (St. Patrick’s Day geomagnetic storm) is evaluated. Power spectral density (PSD) analysis, scintillation index, decorrelation time and standard deviation of neutral bending angle are considered in the comparison between the simulations and RO measurements. The results validate the capability of the simulator to replicate an equivalent total integrated phase variance in cases of moderate to strong scintillation.

National Category
Remote Sensing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-18898 (URN)
Funder
Swedish National Space Board
Available from: 2019-11-11 Created: 2019-11-11 Last updated: 2019-11-18Bibliographically approved
2. GNSS Radio Occultation Simulation Using MultiplePhase Screen Orbit Sampling
Open this publication in new window or tab >>GNSS Radio Occultation Simulation Using MultiplePhase Screen Orbit Sampling
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2019 (English)In: IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, ISSN 1545-598X, E-ISSN 1558-0571Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Wave optics propagators (WOPs) are commonlyused to describe the propagation of radio signals through earth’satmosphere. In radio occultation (RO) context, multiple phasescreen (MPS) method has been used to model the effects of theatmosphere in Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signalsduring an occultation event. WOP implementation includes,in addition to MPS, a diffraction integral as the final step tocalculate the radio signal measured in the low-earth orbit (LEO)satellite. This approach considers vacuum as the propagationmedium at high altitudes, which is not always the case when theionosphere is taken into account in simulations. An alternativeapproach is using MPS all the way to LEO in order to samplethe GNSS signal in orbit. This approach, named MPS orbitsampling (MPS-OS), is evaluated in this letter. Different scenariosof setting occultation assuming a short segment of the LEO orbithave been simulated using MPS and MPS-OS. Results have beencompared to Abel transform references. Furthermore, a longsegment scenario has been evaluated as well. A comparison ofbending angle (BA) and residual ionospheric error (RIE) showsthe equivalence between MPS and MPS-OS results. The mainapplication of MPS-OS should be in occultation events with longsegments of orbit and including ionosphere, in which a standardWOP may not be appropriate.

National Category
Remote Sensing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-18897 (URN)10.1109/LGRS.2019.2944537 (DOI)
Projects
National Space Engineering Program (NRFP-3), grant 241/15, Swedish National Space Agency (Rymdstyrelsen)
Funder
Swedish National Space Board
Available from: 2019-11-11 Created: 2019-11-11 Last updated: 2019-11-18Bibliographically approved
3. A Simulation Study of the Effect of Ionospheric Vertical Gradients on the Neutral Bending Angle Error for GNSS Radio Occultation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Simulation Study of the Effect of Ionospheric Vertical Gradients on the Neutral Bending Angle Error for GNSS Radio Occultation
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2017 (English)In: Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium, IEEE , 2017, p. 1540-1545Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Radio Occultation based on Global Navigation Satellite System signals (GNSS RO) is an increasingly important remote sensing technique. Its measurements are used to derive parameter of the Earth's atmosphere, e.g., pressure, temperature and humidity, with good accuracy. The systematic residual error present on the data processing is related to ionospheric conditions, such as the distribution of electrons and the resultant vertical gradient. This study investigates the relationship between these parameters and the residual ionospheric error (RIE) on the retrieved bending angle in the stratosphere. Chapman function combined to sinusoidal perturbations are used to model electron density profiles and compared to RO retrievals of the ionosphere to perform the investigation. The results confirmed that the major ionospheric influence on the retrieval error is related to the F-layer electron density peak, whereas small-scale vertical structures play a minor role.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2017
Series
Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium, ISSN 1559-9450
National Category
Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-16124 (URN)000428518301099 ()978-1-5386-1211-8 (ISBN)
Conference
Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium - Fall (PIERS - FALL), Singapore
Available from: 2018-04-26 Created: 2018-04-26 Last updated: 2019-11-14Bibliographically approved

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Ludwig Barbosa, Vinícius

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