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Open Access

Analysis of ionospheric scintillation spectra and TEC in the Chinese low latitude region

Earth, Planets and Space200759:BF03353105

Received: 29 November 2005

Accepted: 23 November 2006

Published: 7 May 2007


GPS L-band scintillations and total electron content (TEC) were recorded at Sanya (18.33°N, 109.52°E) during the period July 2004–July 2005. Automatic recorded raw digital scintillation data are analyzed to obtain the spectral characteristics of irregularities producing ionospheric scintillations and to estimate the correlation between amplitude scintillation and power spectral density. Concurrent measurements of TEC are used to analyze ROTI, defined as the standard deviation of the rate of change of TEC. The statistical results of S4 indices and power spectral indices indicate that the power spectral indices increase with S4 indices for weak scintillation (0.1 ≤ S4 < 0.3), but for moderate and strong scintillation, spectral indices tend to be saturated. In the analyzed data set, the ratio of ROTI/S4 is found to vary between 0.3 and 6, and the variation in estimated zonal drift velocities during geomagnetic quiet days (K p < 3) shows that the motion of the irregularities is highly variable in the initial phase of irregularity development. After about 22:00 LT, the estimated drift velocities tend to follow the same pattern.

Key words

GPS TECscintillation spectraionospheric irregularities