Pilot ionosonde network for identification of travelling ionospheric disturbances


Travelling Ionospheric Disturbances (TIDs) are the ionospheric signatures of atmospheric gravity waves (AGWs). Their identification and tracking is important because the TIDs affect all services that rely on predictable ionospheric radio wave propagation. Although various techniques have been proposed to measure TID characteristics, their real-time implementation still has several difficulties. In this contribution, we present a new technique, based on the analysis of oblique Digisonde-to-Digisonde (D2D) “skymap” observations, to directly identify TIDs and specify the TID wave parameters based on the measurement of angle-of-arrival, Doppler frequency, and time-of-flight of ionospherically reflected high-frequency (HF) radio pulses. The technique has been implemented for the first time for the Net-TIDE project with data streaming from the network of European Digisonde DPS4D observatories. The performance is demonstrated during a period of moderate auroral activity, assessing its consistency with independent measurements such as data from auroral magnetometers and electron density perturbations from Digisondes and GNSS stations. Given that the different types of measurements used for this assessment were not made at exactly the same time and location, and that there was insufficient coverage in the area between the AGW sources and the measurement locations, we can only consider our interpretation as plausible and indicative for the reliability of the extracted TID characteristics. In the framework of the new TechTIDE project (European Commission H2020), a retrospective analysis of the Net-TIDE results in comparison with those extracted from GNSS TEC-based methodologies is currently being attempted, and the results will be the objective of a follow up paper.

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