High levels of scintillation caused by strong magnetic storms can cause GPS devices to lose connection with the necessary satellites. Current research has shown a correlation between major magnetic storms and higher levels of the recorded Total Electron Content (TEC) seen in GPS receivers. The research presented in this thesis examines the idea that observations from the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) can be used to predict scintillation levels in GPS receivers at polar latitudes by using GPS scintillation values σφ and S4 that were collected from January, 2013 till November, 2015. These values were gathered from Poker Flat, Alaska, and McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Using various graphical methods the GPS data was compared with the recorded velocity, power and spectral width measurements from Kodiak, Alaska, and South Pole, Antarctica, SuperDARN sites. The SuperDARN values were ignored in the comparison if they did not fall within the specified GPS field of view, they were tagged with a ground scatter flag, or the data quality flag indicating they were erroneous. These bar and scatter graphs indicate that many of the irregularities identified by SuperDARN do not cause scintillation of a GPS signal. When the GPS scintillation variables are examined as a function of the SuperDARN signal parameters (power, velocity, and spectral width) only a small dependence is shown, demonstrating little correlation between the GPS scintillation variables and SuperDARN's variables. Based on these results SuperDARN cannot be used to predict higher levels of GPS scintillation in polar latitudes.
Thesis (M.S.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2016
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