Researchers Deduce Map of Ionospheric Disturbances to Help Improve Radio Network Systems

StrAU (Strategic Academic Unit) AstroChallenge researchers have come up with a new map of medium-scale travelling ionospheric disturbances which they expect will help find out the reasons of the emergence of such phenomena in mid-latitude areas. Since MSTIDs (Medium Scale Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances) have not yet been thoroughly studied and they significantly impact the distribution of radio signals..

The Strategic Academic Unit (StrAU) is an innovative research and education management system of Kazan Federal University, which, due to its interdisciplinary approach, tackles the challenges of the 21st century. Its main focus areas are: Ecooil, Astrochallenge, Teacher 21, and 7P Translational Medicine.

The paper, titled "Collocated Ionosonde and Dense GPS/GLONASS Network Measurements of Mid-latitude MSTIDs", covers the first ever complex analysis of MSTIDs obtained by two methods of radio sounding. MSTIDs, which are huge wave perturbations somewhat resembling aurora borealis, are invisible in mid-latitude areas.

The ionosonde combined with a dense network of GPS/GLONASS receivers was able to detect the structure of MSTIDs in necessary conditions. Associate Professor Adel Akchurin states that it’s necessary to note that most of the coherent and incoherent scatter radars are insufficiently sensitive to detect MSTIDs. There is only one in the Arecibo Observatory that is capable of doing that. However, it only allocates two days a year for these tasks. It was formerly hypothesized that all travelling ionospheric disturbances are caused by internal gravitational waves. But they found out that only some parts of MSTIDs don’t contradict this theory, but others don't fit into it and warrant further research.

Kazan Federal University's (KFU) researchers now plan to put forth a new theory of MSTIDs which would take account of all factors influencing the ionosphere, including cosmic rays.

Click here to read the paper.