The objective of this project is to establish an ionospheric scintillation monitoring service in Cyprus based on the continuous operation of a scintillation monitor that will provide real-time data which will enable the study and real-time evaluation of the probability of satellite signal degradation due to extreme scintillation events. Such events may decrease the number of available satellites and consequently the possibility to get good satellite geometry in the sky thus severely degrading accuracy, reliability and availability of the GNSS service.
The proposed monitoring system is expected to complement the operation of a recently deployed modern digital digisonde (DPS-4D) and a collocated TEC monitor in Cyprus in the frame of real time monitoring of ionospheric propagation predictions. The results and the subsequent analysis of observations from coordinated measurement campaigns of the three instruments will aid towards improved understanding of the upper atmosphere environment over the Eastern Mediterranean region and especially of the morphology and climatology of ionospheric irregularities over Cyprus also enhancing the knowledge on the coupling mechanisms between mid-latitude and low-latitude ionosphere.
The operation of the monitor will facilitate the automatic collection and processing of parameters (S4-σΦ) that provide a direct indication of the extent of scintillation events which are attributed to large TEC (total electron content) gradients in the ionosphere and which directly affect the trans-ionospheric propagation of satellite signals. The data observations will be available on an on-line database along with relevant parameters (geomagnetic indices) and the users will have the option to download or to view the scintillation parameters for particular time duration of interest along with relevant ionospheric parameters provided by the digisonde.