Team title: Ground-based and space borne HF-VHF ionospheric investigations 

Team ID: G2B-08

Team Leads:

Hanna Rothkaehl (Centrum Badan Kosmicznych PAN, Poland),

Maaijke Mevius  (ASTRON, Nederland),



Keywords (impact): Navigation and/or Communications

Keywords (activity type): Understanding , Requirements , Data Utilization , Information Architecture , New Instrumentation A, New Instrumentation B, Roadmap


To give a more detailed and complete understanding of physical plasma processes that govern the solar terrestrial space, and to develop qualitative and quantitative models of the magnetosphere ionosphere thermosphere coupling, it is necessary to design and build the next generation of instruments for space diagnostics and monitoring. Novel ground based wide area sensor networks, such as the LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) radar facility, comprising wide band, and vector sensing radio receivers and multi-spacecraft plasma diagnostics should help solve outstanding problems of space physics and describe long-term environmental changes. Ionospheric variability observed at different temporal and spatial scales has an impact on all forms of radio propagation through the ionosphere; radio communication, satellite positioning, low frequency radio astronomy etc. 
With a use of ground-based Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) network the new quality of ionospheric data is provided. The data of coverage both in time and space not available for other ground-based instruments gives a new possibilities of spatio-temporal analysis of ionospheric structures and ionospheric conditions at mid-latitudes. LOFAR has been shown to be sensitive to signal scintillation caused by plasma irregularities occurring at mid-latitudes, which are not detected by GNSS. 
In order to improve and validate the large scales and small scales ionospheric structures we will used radio in situ plasma diagnostic( RELEC, DEMETER etc.), the GPS observations collected at IGS/EPN network employed to reconstruct diurnal variations of TEC using all satellite passes over individual GPS stations and the data retrieved from FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC radio occultation measurements. 


• definition and calculation of LOFAR derived equivalent of GNSS scintillation index (S4) for description of radio signal scattering in the ionosphere. 
• estimation of the morphology, anisotropy and dynamic of the small and medium scale ionospheric structures and their evolution 
• estimation the properties of turbulent ionospheric structures and related plasma instabilities. 
• Ionospheric radio wave propagation research 
This information can be used in combination with GNSS, ionosondes, occultation techniques and other supporting data to assess the ionospheric conditions and improving modelling and forecasting..

Action topics:

  • Improve predictive capability of irregularities and impact on propagation of radio signal, 
  • Understand and quantify ionosphere response to drivers from above and below
  • Understanding physical mechanisms responsible for producing ionospheric irregularities,

Link to team external website: