• P V S Rama Rao

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Geomagnetic activity control on VHF scintillations over an Indian low latitude station, Waltair (17.7‡N, 83.3‡E, 20‡N dip)

      D S V V D Prasad P V S Rama Rao G Uma S Gopi Krishna K Venkateswarlu

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      Using the data of amplitude scintillations recorded at 244 MHz from the geostationary satellite, FLEETSAT (73‡E) at a low latitude station, Waltair (17.7‡N, 83.3‡E, 20‡N dip), during the increasing sunspot activity period of 1997–2000, the effect of the geomagnetic storms on the occurrence of ionospheric scintillations has been studied. A total of 60 SC storms studied during this period, following the Aarons’ criterion, reveals that the local time of onset of the recovery phase of the geomagnetic storms play an important role in the generation or inhibition of the ionospheric irregularities. Out of the 60 storms studied, nearly 60 to 70% satisfied the categories I, II and III of Aarons’ criteria. However, in the remaining 30 to 40% of the cases, no consistent results were observed. Thus, there is a necessity for further investigation of the effect of geomagnetic storms on ionospheric irregularities, particularly with reference to the altitude variations of the F-layer (h’F) relating to the changes in the local electric fields.

    • Latitudinal variation in the occurrence of GPS L-band scintillations associated with the day-to-day changes in TEC, h′F and the E×B drift velocity and their impact on GPS satellite signals

      K Venkatesh P V S Rama Rao Gopi K Seemala D S V V D Prasad

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      The present study describes the day-to-day variations in the occurrence of GPS L-band scintillations from equator to the anomaly crest location associated with the changes in TEC, h′F and E×B drift velocities. The GPS–TEC and S4 index data from an equatorial station, Trivandrum (8.47°N, 76.91°E), a low latitude station, Waltair (17.7°N, 83.3°E) and an anomaly crest location Kolkata (22.6°N, 88.4°E) during the low solar activity years of 2004 and 2005 are used. It is observed that the day-time ambient TEC is higher during scintillation days compared to that during the days on which there are no scintillations at the three different locations mentioned above. Further, the diurnal variation of TEC shows a rapid decay during 1700–2000 hr LT over the three different locations during scintillation days which is observed to be comparatively much less during no scintillation days. The average height of the F-layer in the post-sunset hours over Trivandrum is found to be higher, around 350 km during scintillation days while it is around 260 km during the days on which there is no scintillation activity. The average pre-reversal E×B drift velocity observed around 19:00 hr LT is higher (20 m/s) during scintillation days, whereas during no scintillation days, it is found to be much less (7 m/s). Further, it is observed that the GPS receivers lose their locks whenever the S4 index exceeds 0.5 (>10 dB power level) and these loss of lock events are observed to be more around the anomaly crest location (Kolkata). It may be inferred from the present observations that the level of ambient ionization around noon-time, and a fast decay (collapse) of the ionization during afternoon hours followed by rapid increase in the height of the F-layer contributes significantly to the occurrence of scintillations. The present study further indicates that the S4 index at L-band frequencies increases with an increase in latitude maximizing around the crest of the equatorial ionization anomaly during the post-sunset hours resulting in more loss of lock events in the GPS receiver signals around the EIA crest region.

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