198 Effects of Space Weather on the Ionosphere: A Case Study of Geomagnetic Storms during 17–28 February, 2014

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Aol Sharon, Mbarara Univ. of Science and Technology, Mbarara, Uganda

This study focused on the effects of space weather on the ionosphere during geomagnetic storms for the period 18 - 28 February, 2014 over the African equatorial region. The dual frequency Global
Positioning System (GPS) data were analyzed to obtain Total Electron Content (TEC) which were used to study the response of the ionosphere to the geomagnetic storms. During the period of study, a series of interplanetary shocks successively hit the Earth’s magnetosphere, leading to four geomagnetic storms. The storm onsets occurred on 18, 20, 23 and 27 February, 2014. Positive and negative ionospheric storm effects were observed during the period of study. These storm effects were discussed in terms of the Prompt Penetration Electric Field (PPEF), storm induced wind- lifting effect, and Disturbance Dynamo (DD) electric field. In addition, Rate Of Change of TEC Index (ROTI) were used to examine the occurrence of ionospheric irregularities. The generation of post - sunset irregularities were attributed to the Rayleigh Taylor Instability mechanism. Furthermore, the effect of the irregularities on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals was analyzed by determining the number of visible satellites in 30 s intervals. A drop in the number of satellites was observed during the occurrence of ionospheric irregularities. This suggests that ionospheric irregularities cause loss of lock in GPS.
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