09 Mar 2022
09 Mar 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Detection and Localization of F-layer Ionospheric Irregularities with Back Propagation Method Along Radio Occultation Ray Path

Vinícius Ludwig-Barbosa1, Joel Rasch2, Thomas Sievert1, Anders Carlström3, Mats I. Pettersson1, Viet Thuy Vu1, and Jacob Christensen3 Vinícius Ludwig-Barbosa et al.
  • 1Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona, Sweden
  • 2Molflow, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 3RUAG Space AB, Gothenburg, Sweden

Abstract. The back propagation (BP) method consists of diffractive integrals computed over a trajectory path, projecting a signal to different planes. It unwinds the diffraction and multipath, resulting in minimum disturbance on the BP amplitude when the auxiliary plane coincides with the region causing the diffraction. The method has been previously applied in GNSS Radio Occultation (RO) measurements showing promising results in the location estimate of ionospheric irregularities but without complementary data to validate the estimation. In this study, we investigate with wave optics propagator (WOP) simulations of an equatorial C/NOFS occultation with scintillation signatures caused by an equatorial plasma bubble (EPB), which was parametrized with aid of collocated data. In addition, a few more test cases were designed to assess the BP method regarding size, intensity and placement of single and multiple irregularity regions. The results show a location estimate accuracy of 10 km (single bubble, reference case), where in multiple bubble scenarios only the strongest disturbance would be resolved properly. The minimum detectable disturbance level and the estimation accuracy depend on the receiver noise level, and in the case of several bubbles on the distance between them. The remarks of the evaluation supported the interpretation of results for two COSMIC occultations.

Vinícius Ludwig-Barbosa et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2022-57', Anonymous Referee #1, 23 Apr 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Vinícius Ludwig Barbosa, 05 Sep 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2022-57', Anonymous Referee #2, 14 Nov 2022

Vinícius Ludwig-Barbosa et al.

Vinícius Ludwig-Barbosa et al.


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Short summary
The back propagation method has its capabilities and limitations regarding detection and location of irregularity regions in the ionosphere, e.g., equatorial plasma bubbles, evaluated. The assessment was performed with simulations in which different scenarios were assumed. The results showed that the location estimate is possible if the amplitude of the ionospheric is stronger than the instrument noise level. Further, multiple patches can be resolved if regions are well separated.