Ionospheric Scintillation

The performance of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers on Earth can be adversely affected by certain ‘Space Weather’ phenomena (whose occurrence is usually related to the 11-year solar cycle). Solar Cycle 24 peaked in 2014 and its effects, even at the current (May 2023) ‘solar minimum’ phase, continue to impact on GNSS positioning, especially precise GNSS positioning.

Scintillation is a space weather phenomenon affecting users in mainly tropical and polar areas. Scintillations can cause sporadic loss-of-lock on satellites, resulting in the receiver being unable to calculate a reliable position.

The following resources explain the phenomenon and mitigations that can be put in place to minimise the likelihood of scintillations interrupting operations.

Fugro is trialling a scintillation prediction service, contact your account manager for more details.