Articles | Volume 23, issue 7
14 Oct 2005
 | 14 Oct 2005

VHF and L-band scintillation characteristics over an Indian low latitude station, Waltair (17.7° N, 83.3° E)

P. V. S. Rama Rao, S. Tulasi Ram, K. Niranjan, D. S. V. V. D Prasad, S. Gopi Krishna, and N. K. M. Lakshmi

Abstract. Characteristics of simultaneous VHF (244 MHz) and L-band (1.5 GHz) scintillations recorded at a low-latitude station, Waltair (17.7° N, 83.3° E), during the low sunspot activity year of March 2004 to March 2005, suggest that the occurrence of scintillations is mainly due to two types, namely the Plasma Bubble Induced (PBI), which maximizes during the post sunset hours of winter and equinoctial months, and the Bottom Side Sinusoidal (BSS) type, which maximizes during the post-midnight hours of the summer solstice months. A detailed study on the spectral characteristics of the scintillations at both the frequencies show that the post-sunset scintillations are strong with fast fading (≈40 fad/min) and are multiple in nature in scattering, giving rise to steep spectral slopes, whereas the post-midnight scintillations, which occur mostly on the VHF signal with low fading rate (≈4 fad/min), are of the BSS type, often showing typical Fresnel oscillations with reduced roll off spectral slopes, indicating that the type of irregularity resembles a thin screen structure giving rise to weak scattering. Using the onset times of several similar scintillation patches across the two satellite (FLEETSAT 73° E, INMARSAT 65° E) ray paths (sub-ionospheric points are separated by 82 km), the East ward movement of the irregularity patches is found to vary from 150 to 250 m/s during the post sunset hours and decrease slowly during the post midnight hours. Further, the east-west extent of the PBI type of irregularities is found to vary from 100 to 500 km, while that of the BSS type extend up to a few thousand kilometers.

Keywords. Ionosphere (Ionospheric irregularities; Auroral ionosphere; Electric fields and currents)