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Title: ScintPi: A Low‐Cost, Easy‐to‐Build GPS Ionospheric Scintillation Monitor for DASI Studies of Space Weather, Education, and Citizen Science Initiatives
Abstract

We report the proposal and results of a low‐cost, easy‐to‐build GPS‐based sensor for detection and monitoring ionospheric irregularities through the detection of amplitude scintillation. The system is based on the Raspberry Pi single‐board computer combined with an Adafruit Ultimate GPS peripheral, which is capable of measuring (at 10‐Hz rate) the intensity of the L1 signals transmitted by GPS satellites. We introduce and discuss results of short‐ and long‐term observations obtained with a prototype of this system deployed in Presidente Prudente, a low magnetic latitude site in Brazil. The deployment and observations were carried out to test the ability of the system to detect ionospheric scintillations and, therefore, monitor the occurrence of ionospheric irregularities associated with equatorial spreadF. Our results show that this low‐cost sensor is indeed capable of detecting scintillation events associated with equatorial spreadF. Comparison with simultaneous, collocated measurements made by a commercial scintillation monitor are also presented. The joint observations allowed us to quantify the performance of the low‐cost monitor and to identify sources of potential limitations. While the sensor cannot (and it was not intended to) substitute commercial scintillation monitors, the low cost allows its use in studies of ionospheric irregularities (space weather) that require observations made by distributed arrays of small instruments (DASI). Furthermore, the simplicity of the sensor design stimulates its use in educational and citizen science initiatives.

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10460231
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Earth and Space Science
Volume:
6
Issue:
8
ISSN:
2333-5084
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 1547-1560
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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