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Characterization of multi-scale ionospheric irregularities using ground-based and space-based GNSS observationsAbstract Ionospheric irregularities can adversely affect the performance of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). However, this opens the possibility of using GNSS as an effective ionospheric remote sensing tool. Despite ionospheric monitoring has been undertaken for decades, these irregularities in multiple spatial and temporal scales are still not fully understood. This paper reviews Virginia Tech’s recent studies on multi-scale ionospheric irregularities using ground-based and space-based GNSS observations. First, the relevant background of ionospheric irregularities and their impact on GNSS signals is reviewed. Next, three topics of ground-based observations of ionospheric irregularities for which GNSS and other ground-based techniques are used simultaneously are reviewed. Both passive and active measurements in high-latitude regions are covered. Modelling and observations in mid-latitude regions are considered as well. Emphasis is placed on the increased capability of assessing the multi-scale nature of ionospheric irregularities using other traditional techniques (e.g., radar, magnetometer, high frequency receivers) as well as GNSS observations (e.g., Total-Electron-Content or TEC, scintillation). Besides ground-based observations, recent advances in GNSS space-based ionospheric measurements are briefly reviewed. Finally, a new space-based ionospheric observation technique using GNSS-based spacecraft formation flying and a differential TEC method is demonstrated using the newly developed Virginia Tech Formation Flying Testbed (VTFFTB).more »
The impact and resolution of the GPS week number rollover of April 2019 on autonomous geophysical instrument platformsAbstract. Instrument platforms the world over often rely on GPS or similar satellite constellations for accurate timekeeping and synchronization. This reliance can create problems when the timekeeping counter aboard a satellite overflows and begins a new epoch. Due to the rarity of these events (19.6 years for GPS), software designers may be unaware of such circumstance or may choose to ignore it for development complexity considerations. Although it is impossible to predict every fault that may occur in a complicated system, there are a few “best practices” that can allow for graceful fault recovery and restorative action. These guiding principles are especially pertinent for instrument platforms operating in space or in remote locations like Antarctica, where restorative maintenance is both difficult and expensive. In this work, we describe how these principles apply to a communications failure on autonomous adaptive low-power instrument platforms (AAL-PIP) deployed in Antarctica. In particular, we describe how code execution patterns were subtly altered after the GPS week number rollover of April 2019, how this led to Iridium satellite communications and data collection failures, and how communications and data collection were ultimately restored. Finally, we offer some core tenets of instrument platform design as guidance for future development.