Figure 2 from the paper, showing a time series graph of amateur radio observations over the Continental United States and four maps showing data at selected universal times.
(a) Time series of amateur radio observations over the Continental United States (CONUS). The red sinusoid line highlights the 2.5-hour periodic skip distance oscillation, and the white line shows the median differential total electron content (dTEC) over CONUS. (b-e) the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) dTEC maps over CONUS at selected universal times (UTs) corresponding to the vertical dotted lines in panel (a). The black arrow in panel (d) indicates the GNSS large-scale traveling disturbances (LSTIDs). Credit: Frissell et al. [2022], Figure 2
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Source: Geophysical Research Letters

Large-scale traveling ionospheric disturbances (LSTIDs) are variations in the ionosphere with wavelengths greater than 1000 kilometers and periodicities between 30 minutes and 3 hours. Ionospheric electron density fluctuations associated with LSTIDs directly affect radio wave propagations passing through the ionosphere, and thus can be detrimental to telecommunication and satellite navigation systems.

Frissell et al. [2022] show how crowd-sourced amateur radio observations can be used to study the continental-scale ionospheric disturbances in the near-Earth space environment. They found that the LSTID signatures in the amateur radio data are well correlated with the observations made by professional scientific instruments, such as high frequency coherent scatter radars and ground GSP receivers. This study demonstrates that citizen science observations are vital to ionospheric research and monitoring.

Citation: Frissell, N. A., Kaeppler, S. R., Sanchez, D. F., Perry, G. W., Engelke, W. D., Erickson, P. J., et al. (2022). First observations of large scale traveling ionospheric disturbances using automated amateur radio receiving networks. Geophysical Research Letters, 49, e2022GL097879.

—Gang Lu, Editor, Geophysical Research Letters

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