Diagnostics of es layer scintillation observations using fs3/cosmic data: Dependence on sampling spatial scale

Lung Chih Tsai, Shin Yi Su, Chao Han Liu, Harald Schuh, Jens Wickert, Mohamad Mahdi Alizadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The basic theory and experimental results of amplitude scintillation from GPS/GNSS radio occultation (RO) observations on sporadic E (Es) layers are reported in this study. Considering an Es layer to be not a “thin” irregularity slab on limb viewing, we characterized the corresponding electron density fluctuations as a power-law function and applied the Ryton approximation to simulate spatial spectrum of amplitude fluctuations. The scintillation index S4 and normalized signal amplitude standard deviation S2 are calculated depending on the sampling spatial scale. The theoretical results show that both S4 and S2 values become saturated when the sampling spatial scale is less than the first Fresnel zone (FFZ), and S4 and S2 values could be underestimated and approximately proportional to the logarithm of sampled spatial wave numbers up to the FFZ wave number. This was verified by experimental analyses using the 50 Hz and de-sampled FormoSat-3/Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate (FS3/COSMIC) GPS RO data in the cases of weak, moderate, and strong scintillations. The results show that the measured S2 and S4 values have a very high correlation coefficient of >0.97 and a ratio of ~0.5 under both complete and undersampling conditions, and complete S4 and S2 values can be derived by dividing the measured undersampling S4 and S2 values by a factor of 0.8 when using 1-Hz RO data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3732
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • GPS/GNSS radio occultation observation
  • Ionospheric Es layer
  • Ionospheric scintillation


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