- A multi-instrument based ionospheric study of space weather storms over India have found that the occurrence of equatorial spread F (ESF) irregularities and GPS scintillations are significantly affected by the geomagnetic storms.
- The Equatorial Spread-F (ESF) phenomenon is recorded in ionograms as a hierarchy of plasma instabilities in the F-layer of the equatorial ionosphere.
More on the news:
- The study included scientists from the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology (DST).
About plasma irregularities:
- The Earth's magnetic field lines are nearly horizontal over the magnetic equator due to which equatorial ionosphere is a bed for a variety of plasma instabilities to cause plasma disturbances and plasma irregularities.
- The plasma irregularities is a complex phenomenon encompassing a wide range of scale sizes of irregularities in electron and ion densities as well as in electric fields.
- They also produce ionospheric scintillations in GPS receivers when radio waves traverse through the ionosphere.
- Ionospheric scintillation is a rapid fluctuation of radio-frequency signal phase and/or amplitude, generated as a signal passes through the ionosphere.
- Understanding the thermosphere‐ionosphere-magnetosphere interactions: That control the electrodynamics behind dynamical evolution of ionospheric irregularities is most important in developing and maintaining communication and navigation systems.
- As plasma irregularities pose severe problems to the communication and navigation systems and interfere with surveillance operations as well as disruption in detection and tracking of aircraft, missiles, and satellites.
- The ionosphere is the ionized part of Earth's upper atmosphere, from about 60 km to 1,000 km altitude, a region that includes the thermosphere and parts of the mesosphere and exosphere.
- The ionosphere is ionized by solar radiation. It plays an important role in atmospheric electricity and forms the inner edge of the magnetosphere.
- It has practical importance because, among other functions, it influences radio propagation to distant places on the Earth.
- The region below the ionosphere is called neutral atmosphere, or neutrosphere.