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Home Instrumentation Ionogram Data SAO Explorer Drift Data Drift Explorer

GIRO provides accurate specificat ion of

electron density in the Earth's ionosphe re at >60 locations in the world 37 GIRO locations provide real-time ionosphe ric data to the central server in Lowell, Massach usetts within several minutes GIRO sites are equipped by Digisond e instrume nts that use high frequenc y remote sounding techniqu e to probe bottomsi de ionosphe re from 80 km up to the peak of

ionosphe ric plasma density Real-time and retrospec tive data from GIRO locations are ingested in Lowell Digital Ionogram DataBas e (DIDBas e) GIRO data are opened for public access via DIDBase Web Portal and custom software tools for digisonde data analysis, SAO Explorer and Drift Explorer Please make sure to read Rules of

the Road

Prof. Contac Bodo W. t: Reinisch , LDI Prof. Ivan A. Galkin, UMLCA R

Digisonde is an ionospheric radar, ionosonde, that uses high frequency (HF) radio waves for the vertical-incidence remote sounding of the ionosphere, a technology incepted by Sir Edward Appleton in the late 1920s Digisonde is an acronym for Digital Ionospheric Goniometric Ionosonde

The first Digisonde was deployed at Eglin AFB in Florida in 1969 123 digisondes have been built by UMLCAR engineers as of March 2010 Full station list by instrument is

Digisonde belongs to a class of advanced ionosondes that evaluate angle of arrival, polarization, and Doppler frequency shift of skywave signals reflected from the ionosphere, in addition to their travel time that is conventionally used to determine range to the reflection point


Digisonde ionogram presents signals reflected from the ionosphere in the frequency vs travel time frame, with signal strength mapped to the image intensity, and color used to represent signal status (polarization, angle of arrival, Doppler shift) Individual reflected signals (echoes) observed on each sounding frequency form traces in the ionogram image Red color

shades are used for vertically propagating ordinary polarization echoes The leading edge of vertical Otrace (black line) ßhas to be extracted in order to calculate vertical Electron Density Profile (EDP) up to the peak density Topside EDP section above the peak density (dashed line) is obtained in assumption of the αChapman shape of the profile Extraction and interpretation of the signal traces in recorded ionogram images is an intelligent, machinehard problem of feature

recognition ARTIST software is reponsible for automatic ionogram interpretation and calculation of the EDP Digisonde Spread-F Directogram displays time history of echoes propagating off-vertically after reflecting from irregular plasma structures Y-axis is time, and Xaxis is horizonal distance in the ionosphere to the reflection point, with 0 correspondin g to the sounder location Vertical echoes are not shown; blank directogram means quiet (horizontally

stratified) ionosphere Signatures in the directograms indicate development of Spread F conditions Doppler sign of echoes is analysed to label plasma structures approaching on one side and departing to the other side with the same color In the example directogram, development and eastward drift of 8 plasma bubbles is detected by Cachimbo digisonde in Brazil

SAO Explorer is the flagship software tool for working with GIRO ionograms SAO-X has capability of accessing ionograms and ionogram-derived data from 60+ locations in the Lowell DIDBase (via TCP/IP port 3060)

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DIDBase is Digital Ionogram DataBase 9+ million ionogram images 12+ million ionogram-derived records Web Portal access for image browsing

Common SAO Explorer Data Visualizations and Tools

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Interactive ionogram scaling environment Mouse-driven leading edge highlighter ARTIST-5 autoscaling algorithm to reduce overall manual effort Profile inversion algorithm NHPC Visualization controls, including content selectors, data labels, and detail-ondemand context window

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Time series of common ionospheric characteristics IRI-2001 model values available for comparisons Plain text export for external data analysis

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Time history of the vertical profile of electron density X axis is time, Y axis is altitude, and color is mapped to plasma density Example from Millstone HIll observatory illustrates

ionospheric response to a strong interplanetary shock event

Doppler Skymap:

Skymap presents ionospheric echoes in 2D sky coordinate system that maps the echoes ("sources") onto a 2D fundamental skymap plane using their azimuth and zenith arrival angles, thus discarding the range information The skymap plane presents the zenith angle as radius and azimuth angle as polar angle of the

polar coordinate system Color is mapped to the Doppler frequency shift, with red shades correspondin g to receding plasma, blue shades - to approaching plasma, and green shades - to slowly moving plasma Observed Doppler frequency shift is converted to the light-ofsight (LOS) velocity that is further split into horizontal and vertical components Drift Data Analysis (DDA) technique treats the whole area of ionosphere illuminated by Digisonde signal as a single entity moving at the same bulk drift velocity DDA uses the

least squares fit method to obtain best fit of all sources visible on the skymap with their individual Dopper velocities to compute the LOS bulk velocity vector Calculated horizontal and vertical drift velocity components are shown in the skymap using the arrow symbols Skymaps are also used to determine the center of reflections that corresponds to the largescale tilt of the ionospheric plasma distribution in the reflecting area The example from Trivandrum digisonde in India shows a classic nighttime

zonal drift of ionization bubbles across the station from West to East

Time series of the DDA bulk drift velocity:

Drift velocity vector is presente d by one chart of the vertical velocity compon ent Vz and two charts of the horizont al velocity compon ents that can use either Cartesia n (East and North compon ents ) or cylindric al (asimuth

and radial compon ents) represen tations Error bar indicate how well the bulk velocity vector represen ts underlyi ng skymap sources Larger error bars correspo nd to greater deviatio n of observe d plasma motions in the skymap from the collectiv e bulk motion assume d by DDA algorith m Local sunrise and sunset times

are labeled appropri ately in the central panel of the plot This example velocity plot from Trivandr um digisond e shows classic signatur es of the equatori al plasma drift: (1) westwar d daytime zonal drift at ~270° azimuth, (2) eastwar d mighttim e drift at ~90° azimuth, and (3) vertical uplift of the plasma in respons e to the pre-

reversal enhance ment of the electric field during evening hours

Drift Explorer is the main software tool for working with GIRO ionospheric drift data using DDA technique Drift-X has capability of accessing drift data records, including raw receive channel data and derived data (skymaps, ionospheric tilt, velocity time series) from 39 locations in the Lowell DriftBase (via TCP/IP port 3060)

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4+ million raw drift data measurements 3+ million Doppler skymaps 3+ million drift velocity records

Common Drift Explorer Data Visualizations and Tools

Interactive skymap browser

Skymap Survey

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Separate panels for drift in E and F regions of the ionosphere Detail-on-demand window for extended data display at the crosshair pointer position Display of frequency and height intervals where the raw drift data were acquired for velocity calculations

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