Is this project an undergraduate, graduate, or faculty project?

Undergraduate

group

Authors' Class Standing

Lucas Eduardo Tijerina Poinsot, Senior Daniel Nigro, Junior Julian Herrera Tenorio, Senior Chintan Thakrar, Sophomore Danayit Mekonnen, Junior

Lead Presenter's Name

Lucas Eduardo Tijerina Poinsot

Faculty Mentor Name

Kshitija Deshpande

Abstract

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) provide a reliable source of radio wave signals that is available at all times throughout the entire planet. These signals are known to also interact with the ionosphere, where there is a high concentration of free electrons and ions. This in turn creates a framework for scientists to continuously monitor and analyze how these signals are affected by free electron and ion concentration irregularities in this region. Such irregularities may induce fluctuations in both signal amplitude and phase known as ionospheric scintillations. The behavior of the ionosphere is also known to be directly related with solar activity as well as localized phenomena, such as solar eclipses. This study aims to measure the impact of the solar eclipse of July 2, 2019 on local ionospheric properties in terms of total electron content (TEC) and scintillation indices S4 and SigmaPhi. Two GNSS receivers (NovAtel GPStation-6) were stationed in La Serena, Chile in collaboration with the University of La Serena and in Cerro Pachón, Chile along the Andes Lidar Observatory, where they collected TEC and scintillation data prior, during and after totality. We have observed a pronounced drop and recovery of TEC on both stations as well as supporting high rate data to explore possibilities of eclipse induced scintillations.

Did this research project receive funding support (Spark or Ignite Grants) from the Office of Undergraduate Research?

Yes, Ignite Grant

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Total Electron Content and Ionospheric Scintillation Measurements during the Total Solar Eclipse of July 2, 2019

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) provide a reliable source of radio wave signals that is available at all times throughout the entire planet. These signals are known to also interact with the ionosphere, where there is a high concentration of free electrons and ions. This in turn creates a framework for scientists to continuously monitor and analyze how these signals are affected by free electron and ion concentration irregularities in this region. Such irregularities may induce fluctuations in both signal amplitude and phase known as ionospheric scintillations. The behavior of the ionosphere is also known to be directly related with solar activity as well as localized phenomena, such as solar eclipses. This study aims to measure the impact of the solar eclipse of July 2, 2019 on local ionospheric properties in terms of total electron content (TEC) and scintillation indices S4 and SigmaPhi. Two GNSS receivers (NovAtel GPStation-6) were stationed in La Serena, Chile in collaboration with the University of La Serena and in Cerro Pachón, Chile along the Andes Lidar Observatory, where they collected TEC and scintillation data prior, during and after totality. We have observed a pronounced drop and recovery of TEC on both stations as well as supporting high rate data to explore possibilities of eclipse induced scintillations.