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  • 1.
    Ludwig Barbosa, Vinícius
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Effects of Small-Scale Ionospheric Irregularities on GNSS Radio Occultation Signals: Evaluations Using Multiple Phase Screen Simulator2019Licentiate 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.

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  • 2.
    Ludwig Barbosa, Vinícius
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    On the Ionospheric Influence on GNSS Radio Occultation Signals: Modelling and Assessment2022Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Radio Occultation (RO) is a well-established remote sensing technique that uses Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals to sound the Earth’s atmosphere. GNSS-RO measurements provide high-resolution, vertical profiles of physical parameters from the lower atmosphere (troposphere and stratosphere), e.g., refractivity, dry temperature, pressure, and water vapour, with primary application in weather forecasting and climatology models. The upper atmosphere (ionosphere) is also sounded during measurements, in which information about total electron content, electron density profiles, and scintillation indices compose the RO ionospheric data product.

    The ionosphere is a dispersive medium composed of ionized particles. It is extensively conditioned by Solar activity and shows seasonal, geographical, and day- and night-time variation. Despite the benefit of the upper atmospheric data, the ionosphere influences the retrievals in the lower atmosphere by (i) adding an inherent systematic bias in bending angles, i.e., residual ionospheric error (RIE), and (ii) disturbing the signal amplitude and phase, i.e., scintillation, in the presence of irregularities regions on the electron density along the ray path, e.g., equatorial plasma bubbles. In this dissertation, both aspects are investigated by modelling the equatorial ionosphere, and its small-scale irregularities in simulations of occultation events to (i) reproduce the effects observed in measurements and (ii) assess methods that can extract information about the ionosphere and support its monitoring and modelling.

    The multiple phase screen method was applied to model the GNSS signal propagation through quiet and disturbed ionospheric conditions. The small-scale irregularities in the F-region were modelled by a single slope power law to yield moderate to strong scintillation in the signals. Results were assessed according to the amplitude and phase scintillation indices, RIE, the standard deviation of the retrieved bending angles, and power spectral density (PSD). A subset of these parameters was taken as features to train a classifier based on the support vector machine algorithm. The purpose of this model was to detect RO measurements affected by ionospheric scintillation. Specifically, those in which PSD could provide further information about the irregularities according to the scintillation theory. Additionally, the back propagation (BP) method and its capability to estimate the mean distance between the receiver and irregularities were evaluated.

    Applying spectral analysis techniques to RO measurements may contribute to the characterization of small-scale irregularities in equatorial plasma bubbles. The results from simulations applying the single-slope power law to model the irregularities showed a good agreement with the selected cases. The automatic detection of occultations affected by ionospheric irregularities has achieved similar performance to models trained with ground-based measurements. Furthermore, the BP method can add the estimation of the mean location to the spectral analysis information. Such tools can enlarge the amount of ionospheric data retrieved -- especially for occultations with extended vertical range and when combined with other sounding techniques.

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  • 3.
    Ludwig Barbosa, Vinícius
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Rasch, J.
    Molflow, Gothenburg, SWE.
    Carlstrom, A.
    RUAG Space AB, SWE.
    Pettersson, Mats
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Vu, Viet Thuy
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    A Simulation Study of the Effect of Ionospheric Vertical Gradients on the Neutral Bending Angle Error for GNSS Radio Occultation2017In: Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium, IEEE , 2017, p. 1540-1545Conference 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.

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  • 4.
    Ludwig Barbosa, Vinícius
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Rasch, Joel
    Beyond Gravity Ab, Sweden.
    Carlstrom, Anders
    Beyond Gravity Ab, Sweden.
    Christensen, Jacob
    Beyond Gravity Ab, Sweden.
    Vu, Viet Thuy
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Pettersson, Mats
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Location of Ionospheric Irregularities in Extended GNSS-RO Measurements Using Back Propagation Method2023In: 2023 35th General Assembly and Scientific Symposium of the International Union of Radio Science, URSI GASS 2023, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2023Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Besides providing electron density profiles (EDP), GNSS Radio Occultation (GNSS-RO) measurements allow monitoring the frequency and the areas where ionospheric scintillations occur. In this work, RO measurements composing an experimental data set are processed with the back propagation (BP) method to estimate the location of sporadic E-clouds and equatorial plasma bubbles (EPB). The data set includes non-conventional measurements tracked up to 600 km (generally around 80 km), covering F-region heights, shortly before MetOp-A was decommissioned. Results indicate the combination of extended occultations and the BP method is promising for monitoring the occurrence and characterizing ionospheric irregularities in the F-region and the E-region. © 2023 International Union of Radio Science.

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  • 5.
    Ludwig Barbosa, Vinícius
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Rasch, Joel
    Molflow, SWE.
    Carlström, Anders
    RUAG Space AB, SWE.
    Pettersson, Mats
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Vu, Viet Thuy
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    GNSS Radio Occultation Simulation Using Multiple Phase Screen Orbit Sampling2020In: IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, ISSN 1545-598X, E-ISSN 1558-0571, Vol. 17, no 8, p. 1323-1327, article id 8869926Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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    GNSS Radio Occultation Simulation Using Multiple Phase Screen Orbit Sampling
  • 6.
    Ludwig Barbosa, Vinícius
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Rasch, Joel
    Beyond Gravity Sweden Ab.
    Sievert, Thomas
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Carlström, Anders
    Beyond Gravity Sweden Ab.
    Pettersson, Mats
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Vu, Viet Thuy
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Christensen, Jacob
    Beyond Gravity Sweden Ab.
    Detection and localization of F-layer ionospheric irregularities with the back-propagation method along the radio occultation ray path2023In: Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, ISSN 1867-1381, E-ISSN 1867-8548, Vol. 16, no 7, p. 1849-1864Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The back propagation (BP) method consists of diffractive integrals computed over a trajectory path, projecting a signal to different planes. It unwinds the diffraction and multipath, resulting in minimum disturbance on the BP amplitude when the auxiliary plane coincides with the region causing the diffraction. The method has been previously applied in GNSS Radio Occultation (RO) measurements showing promising results in the location estimate of ionospheric irregularities but without complementary data to validate the estimation. In this study, we investigate with wave optics propagator (WOP) simulations of an equatorial C/NOFS occultation with scintillation signatures caused by an equatorial plasma bubble (EPB), which was parametrized with aid of collocated data. In addition, a few more test cases were designed to assess the BP method regarding size, intensity and placement of single and multiple irregularity regions. The results show a location estimate accuracy of 10 km (single bubble, reference case), where in multiple bubble scenarios only the strongest disturbance would be resolved properly. The minimum detectable disturbance level and the estimation accuracy depend on the receiver noise level, and in the case of several bubbles on the distance between them. The remarks of the evaluation supported the interpretation of results for two COSMIC occultations.

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  • 7.
    Ludwig Barbosa, Vinícius
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Schlosser, Edson
    Machado, Renato
    Heckler, Marcos Vinício Thomas
    Beamforming of a Linear Array Applying PSO Algorithm with Restrictive Approach2016In: Journal of Communication and Information Systems, ISSN 1980-6604, Vol. 31, no 1, p. 118-126Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents a four-element linear arraycomposed of E-shaped microstrip antennas designed to switched-beam application in ISM band. Particle Swarm Optimization(PSO) algorithm is applied to optimize four different sets ofamplitude and progressive phase shift to achieve four distinctradiation patterns controlling the major lobe direction andsidelobe level. For this application, two restrictive approachesare presented for the implementation of PSO algorithm in orderto improve the algorithm convergence to feasible solutions.

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  • 8.
    Ludwig Barbosa, Vinícius
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Sievert, Thomas
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Carlström, Anders
    RUAG Space AB, SWE.
    Pettersson, Mats
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Vu, Viet Thuy
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Rasch, Joel
    Molflow, SWE.
    Supervised Detection of Ionospheric Scintillation in Low-Latitude Radio Occultation Measurements2021In: Remote Sensing, E-ISSN 2072-4292, Vol. 13, no 9, article id 1690Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Radio Occultation (RO) has provided high- quality atmospheric data assimilated in Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models and climatol- ogy studies for more than 20 years. In the satellite–satellite GNSS-RO geometry, the measurements are susceptible to ionospheric scintillation depending on the solar and geomagnetic activity, seasons, geographical location and local time. This study investigates the application of the Support Vector Machine (SVM) algorithm in developing an automatic detection model of F-layer scintillation in GNSS-RO measurements using power spectral density (PSD). The model is intended for future analyses on the influence of space weather and solar activity on RO data products over long time periods. A novel data set of occultations is used to train the SVM algorithm. The data set is composed of events at low latitudes on 15–20 March 2015 (St. Patrick’s Day geomagnetic storm, high solar flux) and 14–19 May 2018 (quiet period, low solar flux). A few conditional criteria were first applied to a total of 5340 occultations to define a set of 858 scintillation candidates. Models were trained with scintillation indices and PSDs as training features and were either linear or Gaussian kernel. The investigations also show that besides the intensity PSD, the (excess) phase PSD has a positive contribution in increasing the detection of true positives. 

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  • 9.
    Ludwig Barbosa, Vinícius
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Sievert, Thomas
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Rasch, Joel
    Molflow, SWE.
    Carlström, Anders
    RUAG Space AB, SWE.
    Pettersson, Mats
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Vu, Viet Thuy
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Evaluation of Ionospheric Scintillation in GNSS Radio Occultation Measurements and Simulations2020In: Radio Science, ISSN 0048-6604, E-ISSN 1944-799X, Vol. 55, no 8, article id e2019RS006996Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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  • 10.
    Sievert, Thomas
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Rasch, Joel
    Molflow, SWE.
    Carlström, Anders
    RUAG Space AB, SWE.
    Ludwig Barbosa, Vinícius
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Pettersson, Mats
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Vu, Viet Thuy
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    Using A Sliding Window Phase Matching Method for Imaging of GNSS Radio Occultation Signals2021In: Remote Sensing, E-ISSN 2072-4292, Vol. 13, no 5, article id 970Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Global Navigation Satellite System Radio Occultation (GNSS-RO) is a technique used to sound the atmosphere and derive vertical profiles of refractivity. Signals from GNSS satellites are received in a low-Earth orbit, and they are then processed to produce bending angle profiles, from which meteorological parameters can be retrieved. Generating two-dimensional images in the form of spectrograms from GNSS-RO signals is commonly done to, for instance, investigate reflections or estimate signal quality in the lower troposphere. This is typically implemented using, e.g., the Short-Time Fourier Transform (STFT) to produce a time-frequency representation that is subsequently transformed to bending angle (BA) and impact height (IH) coordinates by non-linear mapping. In this paper, we propose an alternative method based on a straightforward extension of the Phase Matching (PM) operator to produce two-dimensional spectral images in the BA-IH domain by applying a sliding window. This Sliding Window Phase Matching (SWPM) method generates the spectral amplitude on an arbitrary grid in BA and IH, e.g., along the coordinate axes. To illustrate, we show both SWPM and STFT methods applied to operational MetOp-A data. For SWPM we use a constant window in the BA-dimension, whereas for STFT we use a conventional constant time window. We show that the SWPM method produces the same result as STFT when the same window length is used for both methods. The sample points in impact parameter and bending angle are those generated by and the main advantage is that SWPM offers the user a convenient way to freely sample the BA-IH space. The cost for this is processing time that is somewhat longer than implementations based on the Fast Fourier Transform, such as the STFT method.

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