, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 263-267
Date: 04 Aug 2006

ISACCO: an Italian project to monitor the high latitudes ionosphere by means of GPS receivers

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As the high latitude ionosphere is directly connected with outer space by means of the field line reconnection of the geomagnetic field through the magnetopause, it is highly sensitive to the enhancement of the electromagnetic radiation and energetic particles coming from the Sun. Under such conditions the ionosphere may become highly turbulent showing the presence of small-scale (from centimetres to meters) structures or irregularities imbedded in the large-scale (tens of kilometres) ambient ionosphere. These irregularities can produce short-term phase and amplitude fluctuations in the carrier frequency of the radio waves which pass through them, commonly called ionospheric amplitude and phase scintillations (see, e.g., Morrissey et al. 2004, and references therein). The high latitude ionosphere encounters significant fading, with the most intense fading depths in the polar cap regions and less intense fading in the auroral regions.

Severe amplitude fading and strong phase ...