magicIONO Key Features
The analysis of the ionospheric characteristics is of crucial importance due to its impact on radio signals propagation: the ionosphere affects GNSS-broadcast signals by delaying the propagation of the code carried by the signal.
In general ionospheric effects in mid-latitude regions are not severe, causing only gradual variations in ionospheric delays. However in the equatorial region ionospheric effects are more severe: added to the higher ionospheric delays in this area, the presence of the equatorial anomaly (with higher TEC values & gradients) and other equatorial features (e.g. plasma depletions & scintillations) complicate the ionospheric modeling and make it more difficult to predict its effects on GNSS and other applications that depend on the ionospheric status.
magicIONO architecture is made up of five independent modules:
- Data Acquisition module: This module automates the IONEX, RINEX Observation and Navigation files download and unzipping, as needed for other magicIONO modules. It also automates the RINEX observation files conversion (Hatanaka).
- IONEX Analysis module: The existence of high temporal and spatial vTEC gradients can substantially impact the performance in certain applications (e.g.; navigation based on SBAS or GBAS augmentation), if their magnitudes and effects are not adequately analyzed. This module analyzes the temporal and spatial vertical TEC (vTEC) gradients by processing the daily IONEX files of the configured time interval. It also plots its main outputs.
- Depletions Analysis module: The presence of large depletions can seriously impact the performance in certain applications. In order to minimize their effect, an adequate analysis of their main characteristics in the service area is recommended. This module analyzes the existence of ionospheric depletions for a configured set of stations and a configured time interval. It also analyzes their temporal, depth and width distribution, and plots its main outputs.
- Rate of TEC (RoT) Analysis module: The presence of high RoT values is associated with the existence of ionospheric irregularities, such as scintillations. Their effects can be enormously harmful in certain navigation applications based on SBAS and GBAS augmentations. This module statistically analyzes the Rate of TEC (RoT) values for a configured set of stations and a configured time interval. The main outputs of this module are also plotted.
- Scintillations Analysis module: Ionospheric scintillations affect radio signal transmission, possibly fading out the signal received by GNSS users. This module generates the main scintillation parameters for each configured station and time interval. These parameters measure the presence of ionospheric scintillations. The main outputs of this module are also plotted.