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Team title: Ionospheric Plasma Irregularities and Their Impact on Trans-ionospheric Radio Waves.

Team ID: G2B-02

Team Leads:

Wojciech Miloch (University of Oslo, Norway),

Keywords (impact): Navigation and/or Communications

Keywords (activity type): Understanding, Data Utilization, Assessment, Roadmap


The Earth’s ionosphere is often subject to instabilities and turbulence resulting in irregularities in plasma density at various scales and at all latitudes. Plasma irregularities can influence the propagation of trans-ionospheric radio signals, and as such they can impact positioning with the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), such as GPS, Galileo or GLONASS. Examples of measurable effects are radio wave scintillations in the phase and amplitude, which are significant issues at low geomagnetic latitudes and in the polar regions. Plasma irregularities can be measured in situ by satellites and sounding rockets, at different scales and altitudes. They are also reflected in the GNSS derived ionospheric parameters, such as total electron content or scintillation indices. With increasing number of high resolution in-situ measurements and ground based receivers, it is now possible to carry out statistical studies and establish foundations for more precise global and local models for space weather effects related to plasma irregularities.


  • Detailed characteristics of ionospheric irregularities as measured by satellites at all latitudes with respect to external drivers, seasons and geomagnetic regions.
  • Establishing statistical relationship between in-situ measurements and ground based observations at selected latitudes: low latitudes, auroral region, polar cap.
  • Determine the worst case scenarios for scintillations of trans-ionospheric radio signals with the help of in-situ measurements, ground based observations by receivers, all-sky-cameras, and radars.
  • Improve the knowledge on the physics behind ionospheric structuring and our capabilities for predicting the state of the ionospheric plasma density in the context of plasma irregularities and scintillations at different geomagnetic latitudes.

Action topics:

  • Understanding physical mechanisms responsible for producing ionospheric irregularities,
  • Improve predictive capability of irregularities and impact on propagation of radio signal,
  • Assessment of predictive capabilities of ionosphere scintillations

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