2011 SuperDARN Workshop       

GPS Phase Scintillation and HF Radar Backscatter Occurrence at High Latitudes

P. Prikryl (1), P.T. Jayachandran (2), S.C. Mushini (2), and R. Chadwick (2)
(1) Communications Research Centre Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
(2) Physics Department, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada

abstract. The Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Network (CHAIN) consists of ten dual-frequency receivers, configured to measure amplitude and phase scintillation from L1 GPS signals and ionospheric total electron content (TEC) from L1 and L2 GPS signals. One-minute amplitude and phase scintillation indices and TEC are computed from data sampled at 50 Hz. Maps of GPS phase scintillation at high latitudes have been constructed for the first three years of CHAIN operation during the 2008-2010. As a function of magnetic local time and geomagnetic latitude, the phase scintillation predominantly occurs in the cusp and the nightside auroral oval. The auroral phase scintillation shows an expected semiannual oscillation with equinoctial maxima known to be associated with aurorae, while the cusp scintillation is dominated by an annual cycle maximizing in autumn-winter. Depletions of the mean TEC are identified with the statistical high-latitude and mid-latitude troughs. Scintillation-c ausing irregularities may coexist with small-scale field-aligned irregularities detected as HF radar backscatter. The statistical occurrence of phase scintillation and ionospheric backscatter observed by SuperDARN Saskatoon radar are compared.

Sakaguchi KaoriNICT Japan