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Authors: Linty, Nicola* 
Minetto, Alex* 
Dovis, Fabio* 
Spogli, Luca* 
Title: Effects of Phase Scintillation on the GNSS Positioning Error During the September 2017 Storm at Svalbard
Issue Date: 2018
Series/Report no.: / 16(2018)
DOI: 10.1029/2018SW001940
Abstract: In early September 2017, several space weather events triggered disturbed conditions of the near-Earth space. The combination of two coronal mass ejection arrivals, associated with an X-class flare, caused a strong geomagnetic storm on 7 and 8 September, thus inducing diffuse ionospheric phase scintillations on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals. This work analyzes the effects and the actual impact of such phase scintillations on transionospheric Global Positioning System (GPS) signals and on related positioning accuracy. The research focuses in particular on high-latitude GPS L1 data, recorded during a test campaign in Svalbard, Norway. The joint effect of satellites at low elevation and the exposure of ionosphere to the geospace forcing make navigation a critical task for such a challenging environment. Data analysis shows that the performance of carrier smoothing algorithms was affected by the presence of moderate and strong phase scintillation. It is shown in this study that positioning errors double when GPS signals affected by scintillation are used. This work shows that scintillations induce a considerable clustering effect on the smoothed positioning solutions; therefore, a methodology to automatically and autonomously detect the boundaries of the scintillation event is suggested according to such an high-level effect. The use of software-defined radio receivers for automatically capturing and processing GNSS data affected by scintillation is an added value to the analysis, as it offers the possibility to implement advanced signal processing techniques and a deeper observation of the impact of scintillations on the signals.
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