Ionospheric applications of the scintillation and tomography receiver in space (CITRIS) mission when used with the DORIS radio beacon network
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- Bernhardt, P.A., Siefring, C.L., Galysh, I.J. et al. J Geodesy (2006) 80: 473. doi:10.1007/s00190-006-0064-6
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The scintillation and tomography receiver in space (CITRIS) instrument will orbit the Earth near 560 km altitude to detect signals from the ground-based array of more than 50 DORIS UHF/S-band radio beacons established at sites around the world by the French Centre National d‘Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the Institut Géographique National (IGN). The CITRIS receiver is on the US Air Force Space Test Program satellite STPSAT1, which is scheduled for launch in November 2006. CITRIS will record ionospheric total electron content (TEC) and radio scintillations with a unique ground-to-space geometry. The new instrument has been developed to study the ionosphere using data obtained with the UHF and S-band radio transmissions from the DORIS beacons because ionospheric radio scintillations can seriously degrade the performance of many space-geodetic systems, including the DORIS precise satellite orbitography system and GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems). The ionospheric data will be based on radio signals sampled at a rate of 200 Hz by the CITRIS receiver. Numerical models have been used to predict that the DORIS signals measured by CITRIS may have 30 dB fluctuations in amplitude and 30 rad in phase as the satellite flies over kilometer-scale ionospheric structures. The data from the space-based CITRIS receiver will help update and validate theories on the generation and effect of ionospheric irregularities known to influence radio systems. By using simultaneous beacon transmissions from DORIS on the ground and from low-Earth-orbit beacons in space, the concept of reciprocity in a non-bilateral propagation medium like the ionosphere will be tested. Computer simulations are used to predict the magnitude of amplitude and phase scintillations that are expected to be recorded with the CITRIS instrument.