TEC Response and Subsequent GPS Error Caused by the Most severe Geomagnetic Storm of Solar Cycle 24 at India

Alluri, Varun Varma; V, Rajesh Chowdhary; Joshi, Sushrut ; Tripathi, Nitin Kumar; Arunpold, Sanit

Abstract

This paper presents the response of low-latitude and mid-latitude ionosphere to a severe geomagnetic storm that occurred on 17 March 2015 at 0445 UT, and the subsequent effect of this storm on GPS error in the East-West (E-W) and North-South (N-S) directions. The Vertical Total Electron Content (VTEC) data has been analysed from three dual frequency GPS receivers, which were installed under the framework of the International GNSS Service (IGS). For each day of the year, the data is downloadable as a single file in the Receiver Independent Exchange Format (RINEX) from the IGS data portal. The VTEC values from the IGS are obtained at one minute intervals. Results   show the variations in GPS derived VTEC during the severe geomagnetic storm. Negative ionospheric storms caused by composition changes are observed at mid-latitude region of Lucknow, while positive ionospheric storms caused by magnetospheric convection and Equatorial Ionospheric Anomaly (EIA) are prominent at low-latitude regions of Bangalore and Hyderabad. The maximum depletion in VTEC peak at mid-latitude region of Lucknow when compared to the quiet day mean VTEC was 61 percent during a negative ionospheric storm that occurred on 18 March 2015, and maximum enhancement in VTEC peak at low-latitude region of Bangalore and Hyderabad when compared to the quiet day mean VTEC was 26 percent and 21 percent respectively during an early positive ionospheric storm on 18 March 2015. Positive ionospheric storms caused by enhanced EIA and Prompt Penetration Electric Fields (PPEF) are prominent at low-latitudes. The highest GPS error during storm time was +7.2 m and +11.3 m in E-W and N-S directions respectively at Lucknow. The average GPS error in E-W and N-S directions during storm time was higher at the mid-latitude station of Lucknow.

Keyword(s)

GNSS; Vertical Total Electron Content (VTEC); IGS; Geomagnetic storms; Storm day, Quiet Day

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