Equatorial Ionospheric Scintillations and Zonal Irregularity Drifts Observed with Closely-Spaced GPS Receivers in Indonesia

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To investigate drift velocities of a few hundred meter-scale irregularities associated with equatorial plasma bubbles, we used three single-frequency GPS receivers at the Equatorial Atmosphere Radar (EAR) site at Kototabang, Indonesia (0.20°S, 100.32°E; geomagnetic latitude 10.6°S), since January 2003. The GPS receivers sampled GPS signal intensity at a rate of 20 Hz. Distances between the receivers were 116, 127, and 152 m. An analysis of scintillation index (<i>S</i><sub>4</sub>) in two years (2003-2004) revealed that the scintillations often occurred between 2000-0100 LT at equinoxes and that their occurrence rate was higher during March-April than during September-October. Drift velocities of irregularities were measured using cross-correlation analysis with the time series of the GPS signal intensity obtained from the three receivers. From a statistical analysis of the drift velocities, the eastward component of drift velocity just after sunset is found to be greater during March-April than during September-October. Based on these results, for the first time, we suggest that the east-west component of plasma drift velocity (or vertical electric field) may be related to the evolution of plasma irregularities causing scintillations throughout the mechanism causing the prereversal enhancement of the eastward electric fields. The equinoctial asymmetry of the drift velocity could be attributed to the equinoctial asymmetry of neutral winds in the thermosphere.


  • Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan. Ser. II

    Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan. Ser. II 84(1), 343-351, 2006-07-25

    Meteorological Society of Japan

References:  31

Cited by:  4


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