I would like to tell you about the measurements I take onboard the Akademik Fedorov. As my own research is connected with ionospheric plasma (the layer of the atmosphere where there is a high concentration of charged particles, beginning from 80km up), those of us from the Fedorov Institute of Applied Geophysics (named for the same famous Russian researcher as our ship), decided to install onboard a GPS receiver-Timble 5700. With this data we can calculate the total electron concentration in the ionosphere. Well, I’ve got to tell it like it is.
How does GPS receiver – Trimble 5700 work?
This is a two-frequency geodetic receiver, which means that it is able to obtain GPS signals on two ranges (L1= 1575.42MHz and L2 = 1227.6MHz). The receiver continually collects location information from three or more satellites, so that it can accurately “triangulate” its position. To then more precisely determine its position, the receiver calculates the “pseudo-range.” Pseudo-range is the distance between the satellite and the receiver, which is calculated more precisely by accounting for the signal delay, which is caused by the influence of the troposphere and the ionosphere. Another important piece of information we get from the receiver is the “phase change” of the signal coming from the satellite, again caused by the radio wave traveling through the ionosphere and the troposphere. All of this information is used in the calculation of total electron concentration in ionospheric plasma.
Why is this important?
The ionosphere at high latitudes (i.e. the polar regions) has not been explored enough yet, and modeling of the ionosphere is difficult. But data about the ionosphere is very important for calculating radio paths and for supporting radio communication.
Best wishes and a lot of ideas,
- Ekaterina Perminova, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University)