Investigation of Ionospheric Irregularities Over Nigeria Using the Global Navigation Satellite System

PDF Review History

Published: 2024-02-01

Page: 1-19


C. C. Onuchukwu *

Department of Industrial Physics, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra State, Nigeria.

C. P. Okonkwo

Department of Industrial Physics, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra State, Nigeria and Department of Physics, School of Sciences, Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nzugbe, Anambra State, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

We investigated the occurrence of ionospheric irregularities using the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) total electron content (TEC) and rate of change index (ROTI) over Nigeria during the period of 2011 - 2016. The data was obtained from the fourteen stations of Nigerian permanent GNSS Network (NIGNET, www.nignet.net). MATLAB and GOPI GPS-TEC analysis application software version 2.9.2 was used to extract vertical total electron content (VTEC), time, azimuth and elevation angles, latitudes and longitudes from the raw GPS data. The elevation cut - off mask of \(45^{\circ}\) was used to reduce multipath error. The irregularities were quantified using the 30 s rate of change total electron content (ROT) and 5 min rate of ROTI, which detect irregularities with scale sizes in the range of 400 m - 2.5 km. The ROTI threshold for an ionospheric irregularity to have occurred was set at \(\ge\) 0.4. The percentage occurrence of ionospheric irregularity varies throughout the periods under study, with March and September equinoxes having the highest occurrence of ionospheric irregularities. We also observed that ionospheric irregularities mostly occur during the night-time in the March and September equinoxes in the year 2014 because of high solar activity. These study on the variations of the ionospheric percentage occurrence and intensities of ionospheric irregularities (characterized by the mean ROTI values) in the African equatorial region can be important in the interpreting and monitoring GNSS ionospheric irregularity occurrence over the stations.

Keywords: Global navigation satellite system (GNSS), total electron content (TEC), ionospheric irregularities, ROT


How to Cite

Onuchukwu, C. C., & Okonkwo , C. P. (2024). Investigation of Ionospheric Irregularities Over Nigeria Using the Global Navigation Satellite System. Asian Basic and Applied Research Journal, 6(1), 1–19. Retrieved from https://jofresearch.com/index.php/ABAARJ/article/view/137

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Wanniger L. Effects of the Equatorial Ionosphere on GPS. GPS World. 1993; 4(7): 48-53.

Kintner PM, Ledvina BM, de Paula ER. GPS and Ionospheric scintillations Space Weather . 2007;5:S09003. DOI: 10.1029/2006SW000260

Oladipo OA, Schuler T. Equatorial ionospheric irregularities using GPS TEC derived index. J. Atmos. Solar-Terrestrial Phys. 2013a ;92:78-82. DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2012.09.019

Abdu MA, Medeiros RT, Bittencourt JA, Batista IS. Vertical ionization drift velocities and range type spread F in the evening equatorial ionosphere. J. Geophys. Res. 1983;88:399-402. DOI: 10.1029/JA088iA01p00399

Kil H, Heelis RA, Paxton LJ, Oh SJ. Formation of a plasma depletion shell in the equatorial ionosphere. J. Geophys. Res. Space Phys. 2009;114(A11):A11302. DOI: 10.1029/2009JA014369

Basu S, Groves KM, Quinn JM, Doherty P. A comparison of TEC fluctuations and scintillations at Ascension Island. J. Atmos. Solar-Terrestrial Phys. 1999;61(15):1219-1226. DOI: 10.1016/s1364-6826(99)00052-8

Alfonsi L, Spogli L, Pezzopane M, Romano V, Zuccheretti E, de Franceschi G, et al. Comparative analysis of spread-F signature and GPS scintillation occurrences at Tucumán, Argentina Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics. 2013;118(7):4483-4502. DOI: 10.1002/jgra.50378

Liu K, Li G. Ning L, Hu, Li H. Statistical characteristics of low-latitude ionospheric Scintillation over China, Adv. Sp. Res. 2015;55(5):1356- 1365.

Jacobsen KS. The impact of different sampling rates and calculation time intervals on ROTI values, J. Sp. Weather Sp. Clim. 2014;4(A33):1-9.

Davies K. Ionospheric Radio Peter Peregriuns Ltd, London; 1990.

McNamara LF, Wilkinson OJ. Prediction of Total Electron content using the International Reference Ionosphere. Journal of Atmosphere and Terrestrial Physics. 1991;45(2/3):164.

Rastogi RG. Seasonal variation of equatorial spread F in the American and Indian zones. J. Geophys. Res. Space Phys. 1980;85(A2):722-726. DOI: 10.1029/JA085iA02p00722

Fejer BG, Scherliess L, de Paula ER. Effects of the vertical plasma drift velocity on the generation and evolution of equatorial spread F. J. Geophys. Res. 1999;104:19859-19869. DOI: 10.1029/1999ja900271

Oladipo OA, Schuler T. Magnetic storm effect on the occurrence of ionospheric irregularities on an equatorial station in the African sector. Ann. Geophys. 2013b; 56(5):A0565. DOI: 10.4401/ag-6397

Sharma AK, Chavan GA, Gaikwad HP, Gurav OB, Nade DP, Nikte SS, et al. Study of ionospheric irregularities from Kolhapur. J. Atmos. Solar-Terrestrial Phys. 2018;173:16-22 DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2017.12.019

Bolaji OS, Adebiyi SJ, Fashae J, Ikubanni SO, Adenle HA, Owolabi C. Pattern of latitudinal distribution of Ionospheric Irregularities in the African region and the effect of March 2015 St. Patrick's Day storm. J. Geophys. Res. Space Phys. 2020;125:e2019JA027641. DOI: 10.1029JA027641

De Rezende LFC, De Paula ER, Batista IS, Kantor IJ, De Assis Honorato, Muella MT. Study of ionospheric irregularities during intense magnetic storms. Braz. J. Geophys. 2007;25:151-158. DOI: 10.1590/s0102-261x2007000600017

Sobral JHA, Abdu MA, Takahashi H, Taylor MJ, de Paula ER, Zamlutti CJ, et al. Ionospheric plasma bubble climatology over Brazil based on 22 years (1977-1998) of airglow observations. J. Atmos. Solar-Terrestrial Phys. 2002;64:1517-1524. DOI: 10.1016/s1364-6826(02)00089-5

Chu FD, Liu JY, Takahashi H, Sobral JHA, Taylor MJ, Medeiros AF. The climatology of ionospheric plasma bubbles and irregularities over Brazil. Ann. Geophys. 2005;23:379-384. DOI: 10.5194/angeo-23-379-2005

Muella MTAH, de Paula ER, Kantor IJ, Batista IS, Sobral JHA, Abdu MA, et al. GPS L-band scintillations and ionospheric irregularity zonal drifts inferred at equatorial and low-latitude regions. J. Atmos. Solar-Terrestrial Phys. 2008;70: 1261–1272. DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2008.03.013

Seemala G, Valladares CE. Statistics of total electron content depletions observed over the South American continent for the year 2008. Radio Sci. 2011;46:1. DOI: 10.1029/2011RS004722

Ngwira CM, Seemala GK, Habarulema JB. Simultaneous observations of ionospheric irregularities in the African low-latitude region. J. Atmos. Solar-Terrestrial Phys. 2013;97:50-57. DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2013.02.014

Mungufeni P, Habarulema JB, Jurua E. Trends of ionospheric irregularities over African low latitude region during quiet geomagnetic conditions. J. Atmos. Solar-Terrestrial Phys. 2016;138-139:261-267.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2016.01.015

Okoh D, Rabiu B, Shiokawa K, Segun Y, Falayi E, Kaka R. First study on the occurrence frequency of equatorial plasma bubbles over West Africa of equatorial plasma bubbles over West Africa using an all-sky airglow imager and GNSS receivers. Journal Geophysical Research: Space Physics. 2017;122(12):430 -12,444. Available:http://doi.org/10.1002/2017JA024602.

Amaechi PO, Oyeyemi EO, Akala AO. Geomagnetic storm effects on the occurrences of ionospheric irregularities over the African equatorial/low-latitude region. Adv. Space Res. 2018a;61(8):2074-2090. DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2018.01.035

Amaechi PO, Oyeyemi EO, Akala AO. The response of African equatorial/low-latitude ionosphere to 2015 St. Patrick’s Day geomagnetic storm. Space Weather. 2018b;16:601-618. DOI: 10.1029/2017sw001751

Bolaji OS, Adebiyi SJ, Fashae J, Ikubanni SO, Adenle HA, Owolabi C. Pattern of latitudinal distribution of Ionospheric Irregularities in the African region and the effect of March 2015 St. Patrick's Day storm. J. Geophys. Res. Space Phys. 2020;125:e2019JA027641.

DOI: 10.1029JA027641

Dugassa T, Habarulema JB, Nigussie M. Longitudinal variability of occurrence of ionospheric irregularities over the American, African and Indian regions during geomagnetic storms. Adv. Space Res. 2019;63(11):2609-2622. DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2019.01.001

Ikani O, Okeke FN, Okpala KC, Rabiu B. Diurnal and seasonal variation s of the occurrence of Ionospheric Irregularities over Nigeria from GNSS data. Front. Astron. Space Sci. 2023;10: 11255950. DOI: 10.3389 f/spas. 2023.1125950

Pi X, Mannucci AJ, Lindqwister UJ, Ho CM. Monitoring of global ionospheric irregularities using the world-wide GPS network. Geophys. Res. Lett. 1997;24(18): 2283-2286. DOI: 10.1029/97GL02273

Okoh D, Owolabi O, Ekechukwu C, Folarin O, Arhiwo G, Agbo J, et al. A regional GNSS-VTEC model over Nigeria using neural networks: A novel approach Geodesy and Geodynamics. 2016;7(1): 19e31.

Available:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geog.2016.03.003

Mulugeta S, Kassa T. Nighttime ionospheric irregularities inferred from rate of total Electron Content Index (ROTI) values over Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, Advances in Space Research; 2020 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asr.2020.11.030

Yang Z, Liu Z. Correlation between ROTI and Ionospheric Scintillation Indices using Hong Kong low- latitude GPS Dat. GPS Solut. 2015;2015(20):815-824.

Rao PVS, Gopi KS, Niranjan K, Prasad SVD. Temporal and spatial variations in TEC using simultaneous measurements from the Indian network of receivers during the low solar activity period of 2004-2005. Ann Geophys. 2006;24:3279- 3292.

Okoh D, Ambrose E, Okere B, McKinnell LA, Okeke PN. Does IRI really know Nsukka. A comparison of IRI- TEC with GPS-TEC over Nsukka, Nigeria. Paper presented at IRI 2012 Workshop, SANSA Space Sci, Hermanus South Africa; 10-14 Oct 2012.

Okonkwo CP, Ugwuanyi M. 'IRI and GPS TEC Variations over Ilorin, Nigeria. Journal of space science & Technology. 2012;1:Index 3.

Available:www.sidc.be

Olwendo J, Cilliers PJ, Ming N. Monthly trends in temporal and spatial distribution of Ionospheric Irregularities across the African region during the descending phase of solar cycle 24. Advances in Space Research. 2021;67(2021):3187-3201.

Seba EB, Gogie TK. Investigating the effect of geomagnetic storm and equatorial electrojet on equatorial ionospheric irregularity over East African sector. Advances in Space Research. 2015;58(9): 1708-1719.

Kelly MC, Makela J, Ledvina M, Kinter PM. The Earth's Ionosphere Plasma physics and Electrodynamics, 96, Second Ed eBook. Academics Press, Elsevier, New-York; 2009. ISBN: 9780080916576.

Akala AO, Oluyo S. Comparison of equatorial GPS-TEC observations over an African station and American station during the minimum and ascending phases of solar cycle 24. Ann. Geophys. 2013, 2017;31:20852096.

Tsunoda RT. Control of the seasonal and longitudinal occurrence of equatorial scintillations by the longitudinal gradient in integrated E region Pedersen conductivity. J. Geophys. Res. 1985;90(A1):447- 456. DOI: 10.1029/JA090iA01p00447

Abdu MA, Medeiros RT, Bittencourt JA, Batista JS. Vertical ionization drift velocities and range type spread F in the evening equatorial Ionosphere. J. Geophys. Res. 2009;88:399-402.

DOI: 10.1029/JA088ip00399

Nishioka M, Saito A, Tsugawa T. Occurrence characteristics of plasma bubble derived from global ground-based GPS receiver networks. J. Geophys. Res. Space Phys. 2008;113:A05301. DOI: 10.1029/2007JA012605

Thanh Heelis RA, Depew MD. Ionospheric Connections (ICON) Ion Velocity Meter (IVM) Observations of the Equatorial Ionosphere at Solar Minimum; 2021.

Available:www.SISLO.com

Calabia A, Jin S. New modes and mechanisms of long-termionospheric TEC variations from globalionosphere maps. J. Geophys. Res. Space Phys. 2020;125: e2019JA027703.

DOI: 10.1029/2019JA027703

Shah M, Abbas A, Ehsan M, Calabia A, Adhikari B, Tariq M, et al. Ionospheric thermospheric responses in South America to the August 2018 geomagnetic storm based on multiple observations. IEEE J. Sel. Top. Appl. Earth Observations Remote Sens. 2022;15:261-269. DOI: 10.1109/JSTARS.2021.3134495

Olwendo OJ, Baluku T, Baki P, Cilliers PJ, Mito C, Doherty P. Low latitude ionospheric scintillation and zonal irregularity drifts observed with GPSSCINDA system and closely spaced VHF receivers in Kenya. Adv. Space Res. 2013;51:1715-1726. DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2012.12.017

Liu Z, Chen W. Study of the Ionospheric TEC Rate in Hong Kong Region and it's GPS/GNSS application Global Navigation Satellite System: Technology Innovation and Application. 2009;9778 - 1 - 935068-03-7.