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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: regular paper 25 Mar 2019

Submitted as: regular paper | 25 Mar 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO).

Global Climatology of Equatorial Plasma Bubbles based on GPS Radio Occultation from FormoSat-3/COSMIC

Ankur Kepkar1,2, Christina Arras2, Jens Wickert1,2, Harald Schuh1,2, Mahdi Alizadeh1,3, and Lung-Chih Tsai4 Ankur Kepkar et al.
  • 1Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
  • 2German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ, Potsdam, Germany
  • 3K.N. Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran
  • 4National Central University, Chung-Li, Taiwan

Abstract. The emerging technique of GPS Radio Occultation has been used to detect the ionospheric irregularities prominent in the F-region known as equatorial plasma bubbles. The plasma bubbles are characterized by depreciated regions of electron density. For investigating the plasma bubbles, a nine-year (2008–2016) long time series of signal-to-noise ratio data are used from the vertical GPS radio occultation profiles. The variation in the signal-to-noise ratio of the GPS signals can be linked to vertical changes in the electron density profiles that mainly occur in line with the irregularities in the Earth's ionosphere. The analysis revealed that the F-region irregularities, associated with plasma bubbles occur mainly post sunset close to Earth's geomagnetic equator. Dependence on the solar cycle as well as distinctive seasonal variation is observed when analyzed for different years. In contrast to the other ionospheric remote sensing methods, GPS Radio Occultation technique uniquely personifies the activity of the plasma bubbles based on altitude resolution on a global scale.

Ankur Kepkar et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Ankur Kepkar et al.
Ankur Kepkar et al.
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Short summary
The paper focuses on the analyses of the global occurrence of equatorial plasma bubble events using S4 data that was calculated from GPS radio occultation measurements of the FormoSat-3/COSMIC mission. The advantage in using radio occultation data is that, we do not only get information on the occurrence and intensity of the equatorial bubble events but also on its altitude distribution. We analyzed 9 years time series of COSMIC data and could demonstrate a strong dependence on the solar cycle.
The paper focuses on the analyses of the global occurrence of equatorial plasma bubble events...