Correlation between Ionospheric Spatial Decorrelation and Space Weather Intensity for Safety-Critical Differential GNSS Systems

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An ionospheric spatial decorrelation is one of the most dominant error factors that affects the availability of safety-critical differential global navigation satellite systems (DGNSS). This is because systems apply significant conservatism on the error source when ensuring navigation safety due to its unpredictable error characteristic. This paper investigates a correlation between GNSS-derived ionospheric spatial decorrelation and space weather intensity. The understanding of the correlation has significant advantages when modeling residual ionospheric errors without being overly pessimistic by exploiting external sources of space weather information. An ionospheric spatial decorrelation is quantified with a parameter of spatial gradient, which is an ionosphere total electron content (TEC) difference per unit distance of ionospheric pierce point (IPP). We used all pairs of stations from dense GNSS networks in the conterminous United States (CONUS) that provide an IPP separation distance of less than 100 km to obtain spatial gradient measurements under both ionospherically quiet and active conditions. Since the correlation results would be applied to safety-critical navigation applications, special attention was paid by taking into consideration all non-Gaussian tails of a spatial gradient distribution when determining spatial gradient statistics. The statistics were compared with space weather indices which are disturbance storm time (Dst) index and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) Bz index. As a result, the ionospheric spatial decorrelation showed a significant positive correlation with both indices, especially under active ionospheric conditions. Under quiet conditions, it showed positive correlation slightly weaker than those under active conditions, and the IMF Bz showed preceding response to the spatial gradient statistics revealing the potential applicability for predicting the spatial decorrelation conditions.
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SENSORS, v.19, no.9

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AE-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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