On the distribution of GPS signal amplitudes during low-latitude ionospheric scintillation
- 614 Downloads
Ionospheric scintillations are fluctuations in the phase and/or amplitude of trans-ionospheric radio signals caused by electron density irregularities in the ionosphere that affect the performance of Global Navigation Satellite Systems receivers. We used an entire month of high-rate (50 Hz) measurements of the GPS L1 (1.575 GHz) signal amplitude to investigate the statistics of L-Band signals during ionospheric scintillation events. The scintillation measurements used in this study were made by a GPS-based scintillation monitor installed in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, near the equatorial anomaly peak. The observations were made over 32 days during high solar flux conditions when typical values of F10.7 were above 150 × 10−22 W/m2/Hz. This data set allowed us to test the Nakagami-m and Rice probability density functions (PDFs) in the description of the distribution of L-Band scintillating signals with better statistical confidence than previously possible. In addition, we parameterized and tested the ability of the α–μ distribution, which is a more general and yet simple and flexible fading model to describe the distribution of signal amplitudes during scintillation events. The results show a slight advantage of the Nakagami-m PDF over the Rice distribution. We also show that the α–μ PDF outperforms the Nakagami-m and Rice PDFs in the statistical characterization of amplitude scintillation. The reason for such a performance is the fact that the α–μ model was specially tailored to the ionospheric scintillation events, resulting in a better fit with experimental data, specifically in the region of small amplitudes, which is particularly interesting for scintillation studies.
KeywordsIonospheric scintillation α–μ distribution Fading distributions Propagation channel modeling
The authors are grateful to Prof. Michel D. Yacoub from Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) for the discussions concerning the application of the α–μ model. AOM wishes to thank the Brazilian Institute of Aeronautics and Space (IAE), where he works as a research engineer, for supporting and assisting his doctoral studies at ITA. FSR would like to thank the support from NSF through Award AGS-1024849, which allowed this collaborative work with INPE and IAE.
- Beach TL (1998) Global positioning system studies of equatorial scintillations. Ph.D. Thesis, Cornell UniversityGoogle Scholar
- Carrano CS, Groves KM (2010) Temporal decorrelation of GPS satellite signals due to multiple scattering from ionospheric irregularities. In: Proceedings of the ION GNSS-10, Portland, OR, Institute of Navigation, pp 361–374Google Scholar
- Conker RS, El-Arini MB, Hegarty CJ, Hsiao T (2003) Modeling the effects of ionospheric scintillation on GPS/satellite-based augmentation system availability. Radio Sci 38:23. doi: 10.1029/2000RS002604
- Kintner PM, Ledvina BM, de Paula ER, Kantor IJ (2004) Size, shape, orientation, speed, and duration of GPS equatorial anomaly scintillations. Radio Sci 39:RS2012. doi: 10.1029/2003RS002878
- Press WH, Teukolsky SA, Vetterling WT, Flannery BP (1992) Numerical recipes in C: the art of scientific computing. Chapter 15. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Simon MK, Alouini M (2006) Digital communications over fading channels. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Sobral JHA, Abdu MA, Takahashi H, Taylor MJ, de Paula ER, Zamlutti CJ, Aquino MG, Borba GL (2002) Ionospheric plasma bubble climatology over Brazil based on 22 years (1977–1998) of 630 nm airglow observations. J Atmos Sol Terr Phys 64(12–14):1517–1524. doi: 10.1016/S1364-6826(02)00089-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Stein S (1987) Fading channel issues in system engineering. IEEE J Sel Areas Commun SAC 5:6869Google Scholar
- Yacoub MD (2002) The α–μ distribution: a general fading distribution. In: Proceedings of 13th international symposium on personal, indoor and mobile radio communications PIMRC, Lisboa, PortugalGoogle Scholar