Near real-time Ionospheric Scintillation

Barents Sea and high Arctic


Real-time scintillation measurements provided by Prof. Kjellmar Oksavik (UiB – Birkeland Centre for Space Science)

Owing to small-scale irregularities in the ionosphere, signals propagating through it will be subject to phase or amplitude scintillations. I.e. changes in these properties across the irregularities. Scintillation effects are most severe at low latitudes near the equator and at high latitudes in the auroral zone and inside the polar cap. During geomagnetic storms scintillation effects will also be present further south such as southern Norway and Europe in general. Scintillation may degrade services dependent on trans-ionospheric radio links, space based navigation, positioning and communication, examples of these may be Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, ship navigation, satellite downlink and EGNOS (airline navigation).

The Barents Sea region will in the coming years see an increased commercial activity related to petroleum, navigation and environment monitoring. It is therefore necessary to raise awareness of challenges related to space weather.

In Norway, the Norwegian Mapping Authority is the main provider of services designed to mitigate space weather challenges related to ionospheric scintillations.