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Authors: De Michelis, Paola* 
Consolini, Giuseppe* 
Pignalberi, Alessio* 
Lovati, Giulia* 
Pezzopane, Michael* 
Tozzi, Roberta* 
Giannattasio, Fabio* 
Coco, Igino* 
Marcucci, Maria Federica* 
Title: Ionospheric Turbulence: A Challenge for GPS Loss of Lock Understanding
Journal: Space Weather 
Series/Report no.: 7/20 (2022)
Publisher: Wiley-AGU
Issue Date: Jul-2022
DOI: 10.1029/2022SW003129
Keywords: Turbulence
Loss of Lock events
Subject Classification01.02. Ionosphere 
Abstract: Ionospheric irregularities may affect electromagnetic signals propagating through the ionosphere and consequently contribute to the malfunctioning of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems hindering their accuracy and reliability. In this study, we use data recorded on board two of the three satellites of the Swarm constellation (namely, Swarm A and Swarm B) from July 15th, 2014 to December 31st, 2021 to assess the possible dependence of the Global Positioning System (GPS) signals loss of lock on the presence of a specific kind of ionospheric irregularities. To accomplish this task we study the scaling features of the electron density fluctuations through the structure function analysis simultaneously to the occurrence of loss of lock events through measurements recorded by the Langmuir probes and the precise orbit determination antennas on board Swarm A and Swarm B satellites. We find that the plasma density irregularities in a turbulent state characterized by intermittent structures and extremely high values of the Rate Of change of electron Density Index can lead to GPS loss of lock events. This is always true at mid- and high-latitudes, especially inside the auroral oval. In the equatorial belt, this happens in at least 75% of identified GPS loss of lock events that basically coincide with the occurrence of plasma bubbles.
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