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Unclassified Radio Frequency Interferer Affecting Ionospheric Scintillations Monitoring over the Mediterranean Area
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  • Emanuele Pica ,
  • Alex Minetto ,
  • Claudio Cesaroni ,
  • Fabio Dovis
Emanuele Pica
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Alex Minetto
Politecnico di Torino, Politecnico di Torino

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Claudio Cesaroni
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Fabio Dovis
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Abstract

Radio Frequency (RF) signals transmitted by Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) are exploited as signals of opportunity in many scientific activities, ranging from sensing waterways and humidity of the terrain to the monitoring of ionospheric irregularities. The latter can be pursued by processing the GNSS signals through dedicated ground-based monitoring equipment, such as the GNSS Ionospheric Scintillation and TEC Monitoring (GISTM) receivers. Nonetheless, GNSS signals are susceptible to intentional or unintentional RF interferences (RFIs), which may alter the calculation of the scintillation indices, thus compromising the quality of the scientific data and the reliability of the derived space weather monitoring products. Upon the observation of anomalous scintillation indices computed by a GISTM receiver in the Mediterranean area, the study presents the results of the analysis and characterization of a deliberate, unclassified interferer acting on the L1/E1 GNSS frequencies, captured through an experimental setup based on a Software Defined Radio (SDR) architecture. The paper also hilights the adverse impacts of the interferer on the scintillation indices employed in scientific investigations. Additionally, a dataset of Intermediate Frequency (IF) signals samples affected by the RFI will be available at IEEE DataPort upon publication.
2023Published in IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing volume 16 on pages 8230-8248. 10.1109/JSTARS.2023.3267003