Near Real-Time Global Plasma Irregularity Monitoring by FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2

Shih Ping Chen, Charles Lin, Panthalingal Krishanunni Rajesh, Jann Yenq Liu, Richard Eastes, Min Yang Chou, Jong Min Choi

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This study presents initial results of the ionospheric scintillation in the F layer using the S4 index derived from the radio occultation experiment (RO-S4) on FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2 (F7/C2). With the sufficiently dense RO-S4 observations at low latitudes, it is possible to construct hourly, global scintillation maps to monitor equatorial plasma bubbles (EPBs). The preliminary F7/C2 RO-S4 during August 2019 to April 2020 show clear scintillation distributions around American and the Atlantic Ocean longitudes. The RO-S4 near Jicamarca are compared with range-time-intensity (RTI) maps of the 50 MHz radar, and the results show that the occurrence of intense RO-S4 in the range 0.125–0.5 are co-located with the bottomside of the spread-F patterns. Increases in RO-S4 at the upward phase of bottom-side oscillations is theoretically consistent with large-scale wave seeding of the EPBs. The locations and occurrences of the RO-S4 greater than 0.5 are consistent with airglows depletions from the NASA GOLD mission. Climatology analyses show that monthly occurrences of RO-S4 > 0.5 agree well with the monthly EPB occurrences in GOLD 135.6 nm image, and show a similar longitudinal distribution to that of DMSP and C/NOFS in-situ measurements. The results suggest that the RO-S4 intensities can be utilized to identify EPBs of specific scales.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020JA028339
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • equatorial plasma bubbles
  • global observation of limb and disk
  • GNSS scintillation
  • radio occultation
  • S4 index


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