Variability and distribution of nighttime equatorial to mid latitude ionospheric irregularities and vertical plasma drift observed by FORMOSAT-5 Advanced Ionospheric Probe in-situ measurements from 2017 – 2020

Loren C. Chang, Yueh Chun Hsieh, Chi Kuang Chao, Yi Duann, Cornelius Csar Jude H. Salinas, Jann Yenq Liu, Charles C.H. Lin

研究成果: 雜誌貢獻期刊論文同行評審

摘要

Irregularities in ionospheric plasma distribution can result in severe scintillation and disruption to the radio frequencies utilized for satellite communications and navigation. In the low and mid latitudes, these irregularities can include Equatorial Plasma Bubbles (EPBs) and Travelling Ionospheric Disturbances (TIDs). EPBs are irregularities manifesting in low latitude nighttime ionosphere plasma density that can extend along magnetic field lines with zonal scales on the order of 100 km or less, while TIDs are propagating wave disturbances. High frequency in-situ measurements of ionospheric plasma aboard spacecraft in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) are a direct measurement of irregularities in plasma density and are therefore valuable for resolving EPB and TID occurrences, variability, and relation to other ionospheric parameters that are believed to play a driving role in the formation of such irregularities. In this study, we utilize observations taken over a three-year period between 2017 and 2020 by the Advanced Ionospheric Probe (AIP) carried aboard the FORMOSAT-5 satellite to examine the spatial, seasonal, and interannual variability of equatorial to mid latitude ionospheric irregularities and vertical ion drift during this time. AIP provides in-situ measurements of ion density and vertical ion drift in the equatorial to mid latitude ionosphere at approximately 720 km altitude with local times between 22:00 – 23:00 local time. Our global scale results resolve distinct and inter-annually recurrent seasonal patterns in the distribution of nighttime ionospheric irregularities and vertical plasma drift during this time. Elevated occurrences of ion density irregularities are resolved along the Equatorial Ionization Anomaly (EIA) latitudes, while notable occurrences with variability consistent with EPBs also observed along the low and equatorial magnetic latitudes. Zonal variability of equatorial irregularities consistent with the signatures of nonmigrating atmospheric tides are observed. It is also notable that the occurrences and geographic distribution of ion density irregularities showed a considerable level of interannual variability, especially at mid latitudes over the South Atlantic and Southern African sectors, which showed much higher levels of irregularities in 2017–––2018, compared to 2019 and 2020. In comparison, the spatial and interannual variation of the co-located vertical ion drifts were much more consistent during the years examined, indicating that the driver for the observed interannual variability in ion density irregularities cannot be attributed to the vertical ion drift at the same time and location of the observations. This highlights the need for in-situ instruments distributed across multiple satellites in different local time zones.

原文???core.languages.en_GB???
頁(從 - 到)3536-3549
頁數14
期刊Advances in Space Research
73
發行號7
DOIs
出版狀態已出版 - 1 4月 2024

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