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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 23, issue 12
Ann. Geophys., 23, 3591–3598, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-23-3591-2005
© Author(s) 2005. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 23, 3591–3598, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-23-3591-2005
© Author(s) 2005. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  23 Dec 2005

23 Dec 2005

Daily ionospheric forecasting service (DIFS) III

N. Butcher N. Butcher
  • BAE SYSTEMS, Advanced Technology Centre (ATC), Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 8HN, UK

Abstract. The daily variability of the ionosphere can greatly affect HF or SATCOM communications. HF skywave operators plan frequency schedules months in advance, however, they also require daily knowledge of the ionospheric conditions in order to modify assignments. SATCOM operators also require daily information about the levels of scintillation, which are variations in phase, amplitude, polarisation and angle of arrival that can cause severe degradation of the received signal.

Using a number of ionosonde measurements and geomagnetic and solar values, a Daily Ionospheric Forecasting Service (DIFS) has been developed, which provides HF and SATCOM operators with daily forecasts of predicted ionospheric conditions. The system uses in-house algorithms and an externally developed Global Ionospheric Scintillation Model (GISM) to generate HF and SATCOM forecasts. HF forecasts consist of a past summary and a forecast section, primarily displaying observed values and predicted categories for the Maximum Usable Frequency (MUF), as well as an Ionospheric Correction factor (ICF) that can be fed into the ionospheric propagation prediction tool, WinHF. SATCOM forecasts give predictions of global scintillation levels, for the polar, mid and equatorial latitude regions. Thorough analysis was carried out on DIFS and the results conclude that the service gives good accuracy, with user feedback also confirming this, as well.

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