Mapping of S4 Over the Arabian Peninsula During Solar Minimum
preprintposted on 12.10.2021, 02:59 by Abdollah DaryaAbdollah Darya, Muhammad Shaikh, Ilias Fernini, Hamid AlNaimiy
In this letter, we study the temporal and spatial variability of ionospheric irregularities by generating high-resolution maps of the observed amplitude scintillation index (S4) using data from a multi-constellation and multi-frequency GNSS receiver. The study region is the Arabian Peninsula, which falls under the northern crest of the equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA). Even though the study was conducted during a solar minimum period, considerable occurrences of pre-sunset scintillation have been observed between 15-17 local time, particularly during the winter solstices. While most scintillation occurrences have been observed at low elevation (15 to 30 degrees), a considerable number of scintillation patches have been observed towards the north, east, and southeast of the receiver location, for elevation angles ranging from 40 to 60 degrees. Our analysis shows that BeiDou geostationary orbit (GEO) and inclined GEO (IGSO) satellites may have been the main contributor to the increased number of scintillation occurrences observed around the eastern side of the receiver as compared to the western side. Out of all the GNSS constellations with MEO satellites, GPS was the most impacted by amplitude scintillation, while BeiDou and Galileo satellites were the least affected. It is anticipated that the patches of ionospheric irregularities reported in this work would be further enhanced as the solar activity increases in the coming years. Therefore, this work can serve as a reference for future studies during periods of increased geomagnetic activity.