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ISSN: 0214-4557

Improved Quality of Service in Ionospheric Telecommunication Systems Planning and Operation: COST 251 Major Achievements

R. HANBABA France Telecom-CNET, DMiR/TSI, 22307 Lannion Cedex, France B.ZoLESI Islitulo Nazionale di Geofisica, Via di Vigna Murala, 605, 00143 Roma, Italy


COST Acrion 251 <Improved Quality of Service in lonospheric Telecommunication

Systems Planning and Operation)

has been a dynamic group of 122 paruicipanís from 46

organisations in 20 Nations working as a íechnical connnunity towards a common goal. The main objectives were lo collecí additional quantities and types of ionospheric dala, Lo generale procedures for prediction of ionospheric modeis over Europe and to promote tbeir use, lo extend ube existing modeis lo give system performance statistics and lo develop a melhodology for channel simulalion. The major achievemenís include especially te production of databases of ionospheric rneasuremenls, ube development of procedures for ionospheric and plasmaspheric modeUing, mapping and forecasting and modeis for users for overalí performance prediction of systems in Europe. The resulís obtnined ja te frame of COST Action 251 during te period 1995-1999 are summarised with particular reference lo their applicalion for terrestrial and Earth- space ionospheric telecommunication systems planning and operation. Reconunenda- tions for future activities are presenled. Kcy words: Ionosphere, Modelling, Mapping, Prediction, Forecasting, Radio Wa- ves, Radio Communications.



Co-operation research on effects of Ihe upper atmosphere on terrestrial and Earth-space communications al Ihe European level is absolutely necessary because accurate propagation information is essential Lo support te design, im - plementation and operation of most modem terrestrial and satellite communi- calion systems. Nowadays, communications through Ihe upper atmospliere sbould meet more and more requirenients, even so they seem Lo be excessive, unrealistic, or usefulness. Advance in perfonnance prediction and forecasting should be achieved by bringing togetber groups working in two arcas, namely groups with objectives radio engineering applications oriented and groups thaI


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give more emphasis on radio sejence. Currently, there is no structured co-or- dination effort in Europe in this domain outside COST (European Cooperation in tbe ficid of Scientific and Technical Researeh). In this frame, work started with COST Action 238 (Prediction and Re- trospective Ionospheric Modelling over Europe - PRIME), which operated from 1991 to 1995 with objectives to develop improved modeis for the Euro-

100W-300E using jo-

nospheric pean area information between latitudes taken from 35-55 existing measuring equipment. Studies were conducted to the specification of the monthly median height profile of electron density up to a height of 1000 km and the mapping as a funetion of time-of- day, season and solar activity of te monthly median values of the Total Elee-

tron Content (TEC) and standard ionospherie characteristics. Procedures of

evaluation of these quantities on an individual day were developed. COSI 251 (Improved Quality of Service in Ionospheric Telecommunica- tion Systems Planning and Operation) was a natural succession to COSI 238 w¡thout which results would not be exploited. It was built on existing COSI

238 teams and appropriate new groups for the additional activities. The parti- cipants in COST 251 came mainly from publie research institutes and from uni- versities. The work was organised as a series of Work Packages, each with own sub-objective, structured within five Working Oroups. Al] Work Packages had participants from more than two countries and have elected their own lea- ders. A Management Committee supervised progress.

0N and longitudes


Ihe main objectives were to collect additional quantities and types of io-

nospheric data, to generate procedures for prediction of ionospheric models over Europe and to promote their use, to extend the existing models lo give sys- tem performance statistics and to develop a methodology for channel simula- tion for HF systems in Europe. me work has been split into five main areas,

allocated to five working groups: (1) models for terrestrial systems, (2) models for Earth-space systems, (3) ionospheric modelling, (4) variabiiity and fore- casting and (5) system performance and speetrum management.

Aceording to the objectives, the principal activities were te

• Assembly of a data bank of vertical-ineidence and oblique-path ionosp-


heric measuremenís and Total Electron Content (TEC) for use in model generation and testing;

• Investigation of ionospheric propagation effeets on radio systems used for navigation, geodesy and radio-astronomy;

• Studies further the development of new models for the monthly median ionospheric eharacteristies foF2, M(3000)F2 and TEC;

• Improvement of existing techniques for prediction of ionospheric va-

riability parameters of interest to HF system planning and operation and

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other ionospheric telecommunications systems particularly in higli la- títude;

• Investigation and improvement of ionospheric forecasí for 1ff system operation;

• Studies of UF channel models, signal variability and modeis for overall

performance prediction;

• Production of mapping functions and associated coefficients for the monthly median ionospberic characteristics foF2, M(3000)F2 and mC;

• Production of spatial-interpolation algorithms for instantaneous values of foF2, M(3000F2) and mC frona rneasured data br the sarne epoch;

• Elaboration of forecasting algorithms for estimating values of foF2, M(3000F2) and TEC up to 24 hours ahead of the present;

• Generation of expressions for te electron-density height profile form in temis of values of foF2, M(3000F2), mc and other available ionosphe- ile and solar-geophysical parameters as necessary;

• Production of a methodology for channel simulation for 1ff systems;

• Interaction with radio users and comparison of their performance data with model results;

• Production of computer programs in accordance with the recommended procedures.

Ihe adopted COSI 251 area is rectangular in geographic coordinates for operational convenience and ease to interface to global models (Fig. 1).

lii total 122 selentisís and engineers from 46 Organisations in 20 Countries

have been associated in the four-year of the lifetime of the Action (1995- 1999). Successful Action outcome was achieved by volunteer contributions es- timated by peer examination to give general agreement.

































Geographic icogifude (Degrees E)



Figure 1. Map showing te

area of Europe between latitudes 35-7O~N ami longitudes

data bank.


0W-600E and the locations of te 50 vertical-incidence lonosondes contributing to te

COST 251


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Ihe studies undertaken within COSI 251 were for the mostpart theoretical aud statistical investigations making use of ionospheric measurement data sets available from databases established under Action auspices. Many past mea- surements, especially those of vertical-soundings already existed and were

available, though sorne of tbem needed further analysis and assembly into convenient formats for an easy use. Speeial efforts have been made to check Ihe quality of the data and rnany participants in tliis Action have controlled most of the stored data. In this Section vertical- and oblique-incidence soundings, elec- tron-density height profiles, TEC and UF spectral occupancy measuremenís

that were carried out under Action auspices are reponed and the databases es-

tablished are described.

3.1. Measureinents carried oid under Action auspices

3.1.1. Ionospheric soundings

Within and close the COSI 251 area of Europe (Fig. 1> Ihere have been

about 50 ionospheric stations providing long-series of dala, mosí of them are stitl in operation and maintained by Action participants. In many stations me- asurernents performed over 4 solar cycles are now síored in the databases and made available in appropriate digitised form. Long-series data sets are very im - portant to certain studies, particularly those undertaken which have addressed

whether there have been any detectable ionospheric trends within the COSI

251 area beyond those associaíed with solar-cycle changes, and for Ihe gene- ration of long-term mapping dala sets. Regular vertical-soundings are carried out systematically once each hour in most of the síations aud only al a few stations every 15-minute intervals, but

also in Ihese cases the regular reduction of Ihe data is made only at one-hour in- tervals. In this regard they represení under-sampled effective snapshots of jo- nospheric state. Within-an-hour variability can be large, especially at dawn and dusk. Regular soundings are also deficiení for the detailed investigation of

the day-to-day variability and from hour-to-hour. Coinprehensive investigation of ionospherie disturbances indicative of ionospheric response to solar and magnetic disturbances requires more rapid soundings. More rapid soundings are also needed for spectral analyses, which involve study of temporal changes as an aid to forecasting, and to spatial mapping on individual occasions. Ihe

need is therefore for coordinated rapid-sounding measurement campaigns. Sin- ce disturbances cannot yet be forecast it was necessary to agree in advance the epoehs of the campaigns. Campaigns of measurements at 5-minute intervais took place during different solar epochs. Difficuities have arisen in finding the neeessary resources to analyse the large number of ionograms for these relati-

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vely lengthy data seIs. However, sorne of them measured in Rome (Italy), Tortosa and El Arenosillo (Spain) have been analysed and have been used in

statistical studies during the Action. Oblique sounders offer the potential for dala inversion to give information on rnidpath ionospheric conditions. The best geographical implementation of a network to monitor dxc ionosphere would be lo have regularly spaced ionosp- herie sounders cornbining vertical and oblique transmissions between thern. Unfortunately this is not possible. However, a network of such sounders exists

over Europe and a number of special carnpaigns of oblique-sounding were

performed in Belgium, Italy, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom during the Action.

3.1.2. Electron-density he¡ght profiles

Bottomside electron density profiles have been obtained by inversion of vertical-incidence ionograrns, using either POLAN (Titheridge, 1985) or AR- TIST (Reinisch et al., 1988). Topside electron density profiles have been ob- tained from the COSMOS, Isis-Alouette and IK-90 satellite sounders. me main application is the validation of predicted electron-density height profiles. In this aspect it was interesting to analyse vertical- aud oblique-sounding data on the same path simultaneously in order to investigate Iheir mutual depen- dencies.

3.1.3. Total Electron Content

Total Electron Content (ThC) data have been derived in DLR/DFD Fer- nerkundungsstation Neustrelitz (Gennany) from OPS measurernents can’ied out at stations of the European OPS Tracking Network of the International OPS

Service (Jakowski et al., 1998a). Assuming a single layer approximation for the

ionosphere, slant ThC dala were then rnapped to a vertical at the pierce point of the ray path with the «ionospheric shell» fixed at 400 km height. Within dxc COSI Action OPS measurements over 4 years (1995-1998) were collected,

analysed and trausformed to the COST 251 dala format.

3.1.4. HF spectral occupancy

1fF spectral occupancy was measured with four autornatic systems as part

of a joint United Kingdoni/Swedish experiment (Gott et al., 1996). Ihese sys- tems were located at Baldock (United Kingdom), al Linképing aud Kiruna (Sweden) and al Munich (Gennany) and provide effective measurement of

spectral occupancy over Northern Europe. Also, Ihere was a fifth measurement


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system at Cobbett Hill, near Farnborough (United Kingdom). Ihe measure of occupancy used is defined as congestion, whieh is the probability that Ihe out- put signal of a bandpass filter of given bandwidth, randomly placed within a gi- ven ITU frequency allocation, exeeeds a given threshold level,

3.2. Databases established under Action auspices

3.2.1. fue COST 251 data bank

The COST 251 data bank based at te Abdus Salam International Centre for Iheoretical Physics, Trieste (Italy) is operational since April 1997 frorn Web home page: http://www.eost251.ictp.trieste.itl. me COSI 251 database provides montbuy-median aud daily hourly values of up to 14 ionospheric characteristies measured at about 50 stations located in the Furopean COSI 251 region and the immediate surrounding geographic area, for the years 1944-1997. Ibis dala bank contains also a number of electron-density profiles, as well as TEC and io- nospheric absorption data. Participants in COSI 251 have made tests on te quality of te data, and a number of errors in the original data bave been co- rrected. Recognising tbat the database has applicability for other scientifxc in- vestigations beyond te lifetime of COSI 251 it was decided to include up to 14 ionospheric characteristies although not alí of tese have been used to date. Ihe database of vertical-incidence ionospheric soundings has been made available on CD-ROM by the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (United King- dom), including a modem Windows-based interface, the IIWO DAlA package developed by the Oeophysical Institute of Sofia (Bulgaria).

3.2.2. The Ionospheric Despatch Centre in Europe

The Ionospheric Despatch Centre in Europe (IDCE) has been established as an initiative of COSI Action 251 (Stanislawska et aL, 1999a). It is operated sin- ce January 1997 in Heliogeophysical Prediction Service Laboratory of the Space Research Centre of PAS (Regional Warning Centre of the International Space Environment Service, IRLES) in Warsaw (Poland). lUCE allows convenient access to sorne recent ionospheric data frorn ver- tical-incidenee sounders located mainly in Europe. Data for the currení month are presented from the beginning of the rnonth up to last rneasurements avai- lable. IDCE offers the catalogues of disturbed and quiet days, the list of dis- turbed periods of few hours duration, data on sudden ionospheric disturbances as well as solar, magnetic and other ionospheric information, predictions and forecasting. IOCE provides also values of te MF2 indices (Mikhailov, 1999). On te basis of the rnost recent dala a presentation of te instaníaneous maps of foF2 for Europe for is made available. Data are available from Web page:

http:\\www.cbk.waw.plV-wc\idce.html and on

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The COST 251 model for the montbly median ionospheric

characteristies foF2, M(3000)F2 and TEC


Modelfor tite monthly median ionospheric characteristicfoF2

The COSI 251 model for the monthly median foF2, known as MQMF2R, is based on Single Station Models (SSM) and tbe multiquadrie method for spatial approximation. Most of te ionosondes in the COSI 251 area have more than one solar cycle period of observations, enabling the creation of fofl monthly median models, ca- lled SSM’s, for tite location of these ionosondes. me ionospheric mdcx MF2 was used to derive te foF2regressions on solar activity for each ionosonde station. A set of coefficients for 12 months and 24 UI moments for eaeh jonosonde were generated with a non-linear (cubie polynomial) dependence on MF2 index. lite choice of a metitod for spatial interpolation was a crucial point. The multiquadrie metitod (Hardy, 1971) used for mapping in topography may be successfully applied to global as well as to regional ionospheric mapping as was shown by Teryokhin and Mikhailov (1992). Titis metitod draws a surface strictly over given set of points in distinetion from otiter methods adopted for ionospheric mapping. AlI points inside te COSI 251 area as well as iii the buf- fer zone were used for drawing te surface. Thus this approach always provides a smooth interfacing to te IIU-R (1997) model outside tite COST 251 area. Ihe metitod is numerically stable and does not require additional «soreen points» for numerical stability in data-sparse regions. A buffer zone of 45 points around tite COSI 251 area was used to interface te COSI 251 maps to te global ITU-R maps (Fig. 2). It should be noted tbat the model MQMF2R is based on tite MF2 index tat is available only for tite past. A conversion pro-

cedure from R 12 to MF2 is adopted in the model MQMF2R.

4.1.2. Modelfor tite monthly median ionospheric characteristic M(3000)F2

lite COSI 251 model for te monthly median M(3000)F2, known as UN- DIV, uses SSM’s, making no distinetion between solar cycles. no distinetion between rising and falling parts of the cycles and no accounting for hysteresis effects. Since for constant local time no appreciable systematic dependence of M(3000)F2 on geograpitie longitude was found over te COST 238 area te original UNDIV approacit was to use linear regressions wit geograpitic lati- tude. Tests demonstrated tat titis approacit was not good enough for te mucit wider COST 251 area (Leitinger, 1998a). Tite use of magnetic latitude (dip la- titude and modified dip) instead of geograpitic latitude brougitt slight impro-


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of Service in ionospheric

Figure 2.

March 1980 <05 UTI

-40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 60 60 70 80 90 80

[ongitude geodetic, deg












FxampleofCOST2SI ÉoITU-RfoF2maps interfacing. The COST 251 urea gronod-based

lonosondes (*) asid buffer zone poínOs (•) are shown.

vements only. Therefore geograpitie latitude was maintained and a linear de-

pendence on geograpitic longitude was

month of the year bi-linear regressions in latitude and longitude were adopted. Ihe monthly medians of M(3000)F2 were taken from the COST 251 data- base and prepared in tite following way: (i) for each COSI 251 station not re- served for testing, for eacit month and for each itour UI linear regressions for

the R 12 dependence of

monthly medians from tite regressions were calculated for two R12 levels (R1~=35 and R12=135), (iii) by means of Fourier interpolation tite diurna! va-

riation of tite level values were trausformed from UI dependence to LI de-

pendence and (iv) for severa] different se]ections of stations bilinear regressions were calculated for each R12 level, for eacit month and for eacit hour LI. lite buifer zone procedure adopted in COSI 238 was used. Titis buffer zone has a width of 5 degrees in latitude and longitude, half of tite buffer zone being inside the COSI 251 area, half of it outside. Titis means that with tite

buffer zone interpolation tite 0N «unadulterated» and longitudes COSI 7.50W- 251 57.50E. area is It restricted should be to

mentioned between latitudes that the 37.5-67.5 buffer zone solution is an analytical one aud titerefore con- tinuous in tite map value and in alí its derivatives. Tite M(3000)F2 maps from UNDIV slrnw a smooth beitaviour without small scale structures witich would be unrealistic for a montitly median rnap. Figure 3 displays examples as contour lines over tite entire COSI 251 area.

added. Por constant local time

(LT) aud

M(3000)F2 were constructed, (u) level values of

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4.1.3. Modelfor TEC

Improved Quality ofService luzIonospherie

Tite COST 251 model for TEL, known as COSTTEC, is based on montitly and hourly medians of electron content derived frorn tite Differen- tial Doppler effect on tite signals of tite polar orbiting NNSS satellites for tlnee solar activity 0N from interval. latitudinal Tite medians profiles were of electron gained content. for tite latitudes For each 45, of 50, titese 55 latitudes and 60 a set of 1212 Fourier coefficients was produced by transfor- ming the bi-itourly and monthly medians. Tite Fourier sets were cut down to 55 coefficients (time independent value, diumal, semi-diumal, annual, semi-annual components and combinations). Since tite latitude dependence



























A1A000lF;5. YjN~YARr

.13 UIt 612—






13 ~fl






Cango uSe <5









-t a










































-‘ -27








Figure 3. Regional map of tlse ionospheric characteñstic M(3000)F2 for 1800 h UT, as obtained from te COST 251 recommended mapping procedure. The shading indicates maxirea (lightest grey) and mi- nima (darkest grey). Season and solar acíivity from left to right asid from top lo bottom: low solar actí- vity (R>, = 20) for January. July asid October and high solar activity (R,



2 = 150) for January. iuly and

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tumed out to be nearly linear, regression unes were fitted to the Fourier ca- efficients 0N and leading values to for twa the sets latitudinal of 55 Fourier gradients) terms for each (values of tite for two tite leveis latitude of

solar activity. Because no electron content data exist (or were ¡nade available) fram tite langitude region East of 200E it was necessary to transfer experience with the longitude dependence of peak electron density ta electran content. This was achieved by introducing tite equivalent slab thiekness, tite ratio electron cantent divided by peak density, (Leitinger and Hochegger, 1999). Iecitnically tite longitude dependence was derived from tite UTNDIV 251 faF2 map and for- mulated witit twa more sets of Fourier coefficients. Figure 4 displays examples of the annual aud diumal variatian of IEC for twa lacations and two level of solar aetivity.




r—4. ~

Egure 4. Annual asid diurnal variation oboalaed from COSrrEC fm latitude 400N; top:

low solar acti-


0E; right: longitude io0w.

12=20); bottom:high solar activity (R>,=150); left: Iongitudeó0

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4.2. The COST 251 model ¡br the electron-density he¡ght profile

Tite COST 251 recommended model COSTPROF for tite eleetron-den- sity iteigitt profile consists of twa parts:

region below the F2-layer peak based

un tite ionospheric eitaracteristics toE, foFí, foF2 and M(3000)F2 and on rocket soundings.

2. A topside model bar tite heigitt region aboye tite F2-layer peak based un O~-H~ diffusive equilibrum witit built-in maps bar titree parameters: tite oxygen seale heigitt at te F2-layer peak, its heigitt gradient and tite 0~- H~ transition iteight.

1. A bottomside model for tite heigitt

The model is continilaus in alí spatial first derivatives, a necessity in ap- plications e.g. ray tracing and location finding.

4.2.1. Bottomside modelfor

the height region below tite £2 -¡ayer peak

Tite model for te E, Fi and F2 regions is a modified «Di Qiovanni-Radi- celia» (DOR) model (Radicella and Zhang, 1995). Regional or global map or measured values are adopted as input for tite ionospheric citaracteristics foE, foFí, foF2 aud M(3000)F2. lite model uses five semi-Epstein layers (Bossy, 1987). Iwo semi-Epstein are used for tite E-layer (top and bottom), twa for tite F 1-layet (alsa top and bottom) aud one for te bottom of tite F2-layer. Tite ma- ximum of tite E-layer is fixed at 120 1cm altitude, tite height of tite Fl-layer is modelled and tite heigitt of tite F2-layer peak is derived from M(3000)F2 and tite ratio foF2/foE. The D region model covering tite 55-85 km iteigitt range was produced by te University of Rostock, Germany, (Singer et al., 1995) and itas been ínter- faced witit tite DOR model. lite formulation is based un rocket sounding data and comparison witit radio wave propagation dala and uses dala files for at- mospheric pressure derived from tite CIRA-86 model. To combine tite D-region model witit tite DGR model of tite E-F region, tite models were linked by a connecting region between 85 and 95 km to secure a transition wititout-discontinuities in electron density and its first derivative.

4.2.2. Topside modelfor tite iteight region aboye the F2-layerpeak

The topside lonospitere fonnulation, for tite iteigitt region aboye tite F2-la- yer peak up to 2000 km, uses titree pitysical parameters, namely te oxygen seale heigitt at te F2-layer peak, its heigitt gradient, and tite O~ H~ transition iteigitt. mese titree parameters are modelled according to solar activity, season, local time and modified dip latitude (Leitinger et al., 1995).



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Diffusive equilibrium does nat give a maximum but a decrease of electron density with increasing iteigbt. A Chapman’s layer expressian is adopted to force a peak of tite electran density profile. At tite peak electron density it is assumed

titat tite electron density scale iteight is approximately the plasma scale beight bar


sitian in ion composition from atomic axygen to atamic itydragen ians. Tite tran- sitian heigitt is tite iteight witere tite densities of tite two ions are equal. lite oxygen sealeiteigitt was found by fitting Citapman Iayers ta titearetical models in tite surroundings of tite electron density peak (Iitheridge, 1993). The temperature of neutral gas was taken from M51586 (Ivledin, 1987), tite tempe- ratures of ions aud electrons were calculated fram simplified iteat canduction equatians (Titheridge, 1993), calibrated witit abserved data (Tititeridge, 1976a,b) aud by comparison witit tite results of more accurate but mucit more complicated calculatians. Tite iteigitt gradient of tite oxygen scale iteigitt was derived from an analy- sis of observed data aud of tite iteat flow equations (Leitinger 1998b). COSI-

atomic oxygen ions. This

scaleiteigitt increases with heigitt togetiter with tite

PROF uses a scale iteight, witicit increases linearly witit iteigitt from tite F2-la-

a constant scale iteight is taken far

electran density. Tite O~ H~ transition heigitt is abtained in COSTPROF fram a diffusive equilibrium formulation.

yer peak to a ceiling iteight h~. Aboye

4.3. The COST 251 metitod ¡br instantaneous values of foF2, M(3000F2) and TEL

Almost aH approacites for obtaining instantaneous maps of faF2, M(3000F2) and TEC may give significant errors especially in data-sparse re- giofis, or even on some occasions can lead to numerical instability of tite map- ping procedure. lite accuracy of an ionospheric map depends on its tite ability to describe tite different pitenomena in tite ionospitere. Unfartunately, tite num- ber of measurement locations is generaUy insufficient for tite production of fully accurate maps, even ayer a restricted geograpitical region, and use must be made of artificial screen-point values to constrain tite mapping contours in re- mote areas. Furtitermore itigiter latitudes are signif¡cantly influenced by the míd-latitude traugh pitenomena during nighttime (see Section 4.5.12).

4.3.1. Methodfor instantaneous values offoF2, M(3000F2)

Tite COST 251 metitad far instantaneous values of foF2 and M(3000)F2, known as PLES (Poland PL, Spain ES), combines montitly median maps of io- nospiteric citaracteristies and a set of sereen points-measurements using two in- terpolation methods madified titis purpase: Kriging and «fitting».

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Tite basis of Kriging (Matheron, 1971) is ta apply weighted interpola- tion among adjacent data points using variogram, i.e. function witich illus- trates tite differentiation of tite value of a parameter depending on the dis- tance between tite different measurements. Weigitting factors are given to tite measurements lii order to assure tite most accurate estimation of tite unk- nown parameter. A scaling factor is introduced in tite Kriging interpolation tecitnique. Fitting (Rusit aud Edwards, 1976) uses a set of weigitting functions, whicit are a measure of tite staristical dependence of foF2 between points aix a spitere. Tite janospiterie citaracteristics at two clase points citange in time in a x’eiy similar way. Tite correlation decreases with tite distance between the observation points aud tite variagram is found to be anisotropic i.e. tite va- riogram 18 different in distinct azimutits. me correlation radius, witicit is tite distance between two points for witicit the correlation of tite ionospiteric citaracteristic citanges by 0.5, is adopted to parameterise titis propriety. In sorne metitods tite fulí correlatian function, called weigitting function, is used (Rusit and Edward, 1976). One of the disadvantages of tite metitad is tite fact titat tite resultant function does not pass througit tite input point va- lues. For COST 251 applications, Juchnikowski and Zbyszynski (1992) modified tite Rush-Edwards interpolation metitod Lo ohtain more desirable results. It is well knawn titat tite weak point of every mapping procedure is gene- rally the number aud/or tite distribution of measurement locations, witicit may be insufficient for tite production of fully accurate maps, even over a res- tricted geograpitical region. It may not allow describing gradients properly. To constrain results to pitysically realistic figures, deviations fram monthly me- dian predicted values are modelled. It itas been demonstrated titat titis tecit- nique smootites out many discontinuities (Stanislawska and Juclmikowski, 1997). Titree or faur data points allow constructing a map with acceptable precision. Comparisons witit measurements Ixave shown titat tite accuracy achieved it>’ botit metitods is almost tite same. Nevertbeless tite modified Kriging algo- rithm is better for foF2 (metitod PLES2), witile fitting is better bar M(3000)F2 (PLESS). So that both metitods ¡¡ave been combined (PLES2 for foF2 aud PLESS for M(3000)F2) to produce tite COST 251 instantaneoús mapping mo- del for ionospiteric citaracteristics.

4.3.2. Methodfor instantaneous values of TEC

lnstantaneous values of IEC maps are gained by using tite COSI 251 electron-density iteigitt profile in its «instantaneous» mode and numerical lix- tegration along vertical or slant rays.


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4.4. Thc COST 251 forecast¡ng procedure

Tite COSI 251 forecasting procedure is based on tite auto-correlatian pro- cedure CORLPREV developed by Muittarov aud Kutiev (1999) in tite frame- work of tite Actian. A network of 23 vertical-incidence ionosandes 0W provides to 900E tite basic and from inputs. 300 Mapping to 700N, which is possible includes for tite tite COST area extending 251 region. fram Dala 10 are currently updated every 24 itours on weekdays. Tite difficulty is that goad statistical estimates of tite autocorrelation func- tion require very long observation periods. Titis is impractical since tite un- derlying pitysicat processes are not stationary ayer long periods of time. lix or- der to avoid titis, a predetermined sitape witit a finite number of parameters is imposed to tite autocorrelation functian. These parameters are citasen in such a way titat diumal variations aud medium-term decorrelatian of tite ionospiteric citaracteristic of interest are well represented. A time period of 20 days is used for tite calculation of tite empirical autocarrelation function. Iests at a variety of locations itave demonstrated titat tite autocorrelation metitod perfarms subs- tantially better titan using regularly updated mantitly median values. It is clear titat titis metitod will break down at tite onset of ionospiteric storms, as it cannot itave prior warning of disturbances. However it itas temed out to be surprisingly robust in disturbed conditions. Tite autocorretatian metitod is applied to pro- duce forecast values of foF2 and tite F2-layer basic MUF far a 3000 km range (MUF(3000)F2) at integer itours UT up to 4 days aitead at eacit vertical-mci- dence station witen sufficient measurements are available. This is necessary to ensure a forecast for up to 24 hours aitead is always available, despite wee- kend’s difficulties. Values from tite past 60 days are used ta constmct an auto- regressive filter.







Gecg~Mt Ic~ÉtttÉ (E~es E)





Figure 5. Map derived from 24 hours ahead forecaso of foF2 for 12 May 1998 80 1200 h UT.

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Forecasts maps of foF2 and MUF(3000)F2 are drawn using a conxmercial package with a Kriging option, witicit is particularly suitable for contouring sparse dala (Fig 5). An operational forecasting tool is available on te World Wide Web bar interactive use (itttp:// CORL- PREV software is available aL Space Research Centre, Warsaw (Poland), 1mw anonymous (see Section 8).

4.5. Other stud¡es and models

Wititin titis line of activities studies were conducted first of al on tite de- velopment of models relevant to ionospiteric tele~ommunication applications lar tite COSI 25] area. In Ihis Section tese modeis are briefly described and tite main achievements of different studies are reported.

4.5.1. Monthly median ionospheric characteristicsfoff2 ¿md M(3000)F2 Ionosptxeric Single Station Modeis

As it is generally accepted, ionospheric Single Station Models (SSM’s) give tite most accurate representation of tite modelled ionospiteric parameters un te inimediate vicinity of aix ionaspiteric station. For titis reason SSM’scan be used in severa] applications, as, br instance, fiuing data gaps, either retrospective dala gaps of active stations witit long enougit series of rneasurements, or to ex - tend tite series of values of clased stations, while a secular variation is not fo- reseen. Anotiter important use is Lo produce screen points for mapping io - nospiteric characteristics. ‘me work itas been done as follows: i) to produce new SSM’s, u) to compare titem with tite previously produced modeis during tite COST 238 project and iii) to use them in ionaspberic mapping. Twa new foP2 models were produced. Xenos et al. (1996) use a quadratic re- gression between montitly itourly median values of foF2 and tite Aristotelian Uni- versity lonospiterie S-index. Solé (1998) model introduces a geomagnetic depen- dence. litis madel is basal on a statistical second degree multiregression between foF2, te monthiy ionospheric T mdcx ami tite monthly geomagnetic index Ap. ‘mese modeis and tite IIU-R model itave been compared with te modeis produced in te COST 238 project and tested witit data from 22 ionospheric stations titat cover te wbole COSI 251 area (Alberca eL al., 1998). As expee- ted, te SSM’s give better results titan global models. ‘me best results are pro- duced by Solé‘s model and te model of Mikhailov and Mikitailov produced during COSI 238 (Bradley, 1995). ‘me results of botit models are very clase, but titose of Salé’s model are tite best. A prediction of te Ap magnetic index ma>’ be needed to make use of titis model. lo acitieve titis, a neural network procedure was introduced in tite model, obtaining te index witit aix error of


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25%. Furthetmorc, Solé el al. (1999) bave drawn atiention jo tite fact thai tite dependence of tite Ap índex on Ihe results of tite model is noí high. II ~sfornid

that a 30% error lo tite Ap index affects tite lina! result of foF2 in oniy 0.1 MHz lii average. Wilh tus Ap índex prediction program, Solé’s model can be adop-

lcd lo predict foF2, Consequentíy, tite model of Solé is tite SSM of fof’2 re- commended by COSI Adían 251. Desudes tite foF2 SSM’s~ tinte M(30005F2 SSM’s itave been produced. Míkhadov et al. (1996) model use a seeond degree rela.tionship beíwcen M(3000~F2 and 1< Solé (1998) utilises tite sanie a]gorithm lot M(3000)F2 thai

3%.enos ami Alberca (1999) use new-al network tcchniquc lar tite M(3000)F2, one Lar fofl. Mosí of tite values are predicíed witit less titan 5% error. ISIRM (Improved Simplitied lonospiterie Regional Model)

¡51kM is a regional inodel of tite ionospiteric citaracteristies foF2 and

M(3000)F2, evolved by SIRM (Sirnplified lonospiterie Regional Model) (Za- lesí el aL, 1996) amI applied to a more extended area taldng lino accouní tite consequences of itigh latitude region. lite ¡nade] is based on tite Fourier analy- sís of tite monthly median values of tite tonospiterie paramekrs measured at 11w síatíons ni tite Luropean ami near Fast re,giorís ant] colleeted under tite COSI 25! projecí. Tite bit-st step of tite procedure is tite linear regression analysis of fue montitly median values of a given ionospiteric citaracteristie againsí the so-

lar actívííy mdcx R 11. Tite seceod step is a Fourier analysís of tite data Lar twa lixed values of R, ~0and R1., z 1Q~~ In order to bener reproduce tite moníhly beitaviour tite Fourier anoiys~ were peifonned montl-i by month instead of along tite twa virtual years oftite two solar epocits. Re improved 811kM muodel is still a very simple procedure, 001 only lot lis cas>’ maúxematical formulation ant] Lot tite reduced number of numerical coef-

ticients, buí aboye alí foi- tite sitort software program Ihaí can be easily used ant]

liniced wlih oter software procedures.


ILCNN is a ocotal network procedure designed to ruodel ant] predicí tite moníitly median foF2 and M(3000>F2 over tite COSI 251 area (Larnming ami

Cander. 1999). A mulíi-layer percepíron wained wiíh back-pronagaíion is adop- ted. ‘tite number of hídden units ls 16 ant] 9 on lirst ant] second liUden layers, respectíveíy. U is welI known thai tite knowledge of a neural network is coníai ned in its weight. Titese weights are ami cae-it input of al] itiddeux units and alt out— put unlís. lite aim of tite back—propagaríon algariíhm is Lo fínd tite weigbts. lo implement the ILCNN model, only tite architecture of tite new-al network, tite weigbt eoefflcients, sígmoid funcrion ami nonnalised functíons are needed,


ILCNN (Jonospitere Local Copy by Neural Neíwork>

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‘me MQMF2 metitod bar te montitly median foF2 and M(3000)F2 uses tite

same SSM and interpalatian procedure as un tite metitod MQMF2R described

in Sectian 4.1.1 but tite solar activity index in MQMF2 metitod is MF2 instead


R 12. PLESí aud PLES2 (PolandPL Spain ES)

PLES 1 and PLES2 are tite implementation for montitly median made- lling of tite appraacit described in Section 4.3.1. Titese metitods involve tite generation of SSM acitieved by Solé’s procedure (Solé, 1998). ‘me model re- quires tite montitly averaged Ap and 1 indices as input for SSM’s calcula- tions. Tite values created by SSM’s are interpolated for tite witole COSI 251 area with tite modified Kriging technique (PLES2) or witit fitting (PLES 1). Different responses ta geomagnetic disturbances can be taken unto account witit tite inclusion of tite Ap mdcx. Titis index can be successfully used bar retrospective modelling witen Ap index is knawn. However far long-term prediction tite difficult>’ of sufficient accuracy in its predictability nowa- days sitould be noted. SWILM (Space-Weigitted Ianospiteric Local Model)

SWIiLM is a tecitnique for modelling tite foF2 montitly median, witicit

uses past data series and tite R mdcx. Twa sets of coefficients are calculated

by linear relations between foF2 aud R

for eacit montit aud bar eacit itaur. Fram te twa set of coefficients ant] from gi- ven values of tite input parameter R12, tite faF2 montitly medians are calculated for tite penad 1957-1996, far eacit slation of tite database, for eacit mantit and

bar eacit itaur. ‘me 20 slations

aix tite latitude distance from tite location where predicted values of faF2 itave to be calculated. Eacit sector itas a widtit of 5 degrees in latitude. ‘me predicted faF2 values are finally based on tite values of foF2 coming fram different

sectors, opportunely weigitted aix tite spatial scale.


bar 20 stations in tite COSI 251 area,


are titen assembled in dibferent sectors depending


‘me UNDIV metitod bar modelling

te foF2 montitly median use te same

procedure as described in Section 4.1.2 bar M(3000)F2. A parabolic regression for te R12 dependence of foF2 is adapted. Titree level values of montbly me- dians were calculated from tite regressions for titree R levels (35, 85 and



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135). Ihe resu¡ts are 12 x 24 x 3 level values per statian far foF2. Bilinear re - gressions for eacit R> 2 level, for eacit montit aud for each haur (LI) are derived.


SAILI is an empirical model of foF2 for tite 35(400 latitude belt during quiet ant] disturbed canditians (Eliseyev ant] Besprazvannaya, 1998). Tite mo- del is based an a slatistical analysis of multiyear observation at tite vertical-un- cidence sounding network. Tite ¡evel of tite noan foF2 is approximated by product of twa functians. ‘me foF2 for otiter haurs are related ta tite noan value by a simple dependence:

foF2 =



Tite values are obtained by interpalatian between tables of coefficients.


Modeisfor Total Electron Content

Tite regional TEC nxadel NTCM (Neustrelliz TEC Mode», produced at DLRJ’DFD Fernerkundungsstatian Neustrelitz (Oermany) fram OPS measure- ments, itas been impraved ant] updated (Jakawski, 1998, 1999). Twa versions of tite madel were develaped ant] applied ta map canstruction. NTCM 1 Tite algarititm includes fundamental janospiterie variatians and

solar activity dependence. ‘me coefficients of tite model are based aix IEC-Fa- raday ratation dala oblained at tite European stations Neustrelitz (Oermany), Graz (Austria) and Flarence (ltaly) during tite years 1976-82. NTCM 2 ‘mis version compared witit NTCM 1 includes additianally a geamagnetic latitude dependence term. ‘me coefficients are taken from GPS derived TEC maps ayer Europe obtained fram February 1995 until January


An evaluation itas been made of tite global rms error, given by:



witere N is tite total number of samples, is tite value predicted by tite model for

sample ¡ ant] is 6nr2 tite measured for 1995 value (Jakowski far sample et al., 1. 1998b). ‘me rms It is errar clear of titat NTCM titis model 2 was

provides less titan high 1 xlO’ accurate ‘WC data ayer tite COST 251 area bar law solar activity


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Metitodsfor instantaneous values offoF2, M(3000)F2 ¿md TEC


‘me metitod MQMF2-IM for foF2 aud M(3000)F2 instantaneous mapping uses tite following: (i) SSM’s bar faF2 2Cff aud and M(3000)F2, R12ff indexes, (u) (iv) screen bubfer paints zane, rnsi- (y) main de tite ionospheric area, (iii) effective trougit model itourly MF and (vi) multiquadric metitod for spatial ap- praximation. ‘me ionaspiteric index MF2 is used to find tite foF2 relatiansitip witit salar activity. However for madelling M(3000)F2 tite index R 12 is adapted as it pro-

vides better regression accuracy. SSM madel ma>’ be used to produce foF2 aud/ar M(3000)F2 screen point value if tite nearest available current observation is located furtiter titan 1O( in longitude and 5( un latitude. In tite areas witit sparse ionosondes additianal screen points are intraduced witit tite ITU-R model. A buffer zane of 45 points is defined as a constraint to avoid unrealistie be- itaviour of foF2 and M(3060)F2 alang tite baundar>’ of tite area. Local MF2~ lii- dices are derived for eacit ionosonde location fram tite observed foF2 values to draw a MF2 surface ayer tite area witit tite multiquadric metitad bar spatial ap-

proximation. MF 6~~values bar tite buffer zane paints are deduced fram tite re- gressian ab MF212 versus R>2. ‘mis is possible witit a 2Cff minimum far previaus of 3 abserved itaurs va (or -

montitly lues of faF2. median If value) titis canditian may be used. is nat Iii met, tite same tite MF way, an effective int]ex R is

adopted as tite input to tite M(3000)F2 SSM’s aud bar tite buffet zane ta c’álgu- late foF2 ant] M(3000)F2 using tite ITU-R model. ‘mis index R 1 eff 18 deduced


fram tite mininiisation of tite standard deviation bar tite calculated IaF2 with res- pect to tite abserved ones ayer tite witole area in question bar all integers UT. Ef- fective R1~ff mdcx is used as input to tite IIU-R model un tite buffer zane. ‘me main ionaspiteric trougit model based aix COSMOS-900 ant] ínter- COSMOS-19 satellite observations developed un IZMIRAN, Russia (Annaku- liev et al., 1997) is introduced lix tite madel optionally (Mikitailav et al., 1998). PLES3 aud PLES6 (Paland PL Spain ES)

PLES3 aud PLES6 are twa otiter versians of tite recaminended COST 251 instantancaus mapping mediad described in Sectian 4.3.1. lix titase methads tite mid-latitude traugit madel is intraduced, as well as SSM’s, develaped by Salé (1998), witicit supplemented tite monthly median model. ‘me traugh madel supplies additional screen-paints bar map canstruction. ‘me madel of tite mit]- latitude traugit, described lii Sectian 4.5.12, itas been included in PLES3 only, witere tite interpalatian pracedure is tite modifled Kriging. PLES6 make use of SSM’s and fitting.


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Tite objective was to develop a metitod witicit can provides maps of foF2 even in situations witen foF2 abservations are available anly from 1-3 iona- sondes (Eliseyev and Besprozvannaya, 1998). An elfective level of solar acti- vity 18 evaluated by tite analysis of tite noan data from tite previaus days. Real time ionaspiteric data are titen introduced. As a replacement of tite Kp-index, an effective Kp value is estimated from tite experimental data un arder titat tite pre- dicted foF2 value is equal to tite observed one at tite ianospiteric station. Tite traugit pasitian aud tite effective Kp are given by monitoring tite equator-ward diffuse auroral baundary.

4.S.4. Instantanecus modelfor electron-density heightproflle

A neural network sciteme was proposed by Stanislawska et al. (1999b)

for tite generation of an instantaneous model for electron-density iteígitt profi-

le. Instead of a direct predictian of Uds

nogram witicit is unambiguously connected witit tite profile. lite model derives fram a feed-forward multi-layer structure. A predetermi- ned profile formula is established to describe past profiles abtained attite location of interest. lite training process uses eleven points on tite trace of a set of pre- viously recorded typical ionograms. ‘me final profile formula is developed step- by-step by aix iterative pracess. Tite neural netwark is used as a universal appro- ximate connecting tite profiles witit five citaracteristics parameters of tite ionagram. Tite same parameters are titen used as inputs when the training process ends up witit a profile formula that is best f¡ttet] ta tite set of training profiles.

profile it was propased ta predict tite jo-


Forecasting procedures

Wititin tite framewark of titis COSI 251 activity diere are a number of fo- recasting procedures relevant to ionospheric telecommunication applicatians. A majar titrust of tite work itas been tite application and develapment of non-li- near techniques La improve ianospiteric forecasting capabilities. Tite DERA (United Kingdom) Ionospiteric Forecasting Service neural net- work model can pravide predictions of tite hourly variation of foF2 from 1 to 24 itours ahead. However, tite operational package of tite model has been de-

signed un sucit a way titat it would be a simple matter ta incorparate predictive models for additianal geaphysical parameters unto tite same framework.

A neural network based stand-alone model witit intrinsic inputs itas been

developed by Tuluna>’ et al. (1999) to forecast foF2 one itaur in advance. lix titis researcit, tite feedforward multilayer perceptron neural network was preferred as arcititecture. Standard back-propagation algorititm was adopted.

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A mediad for foF2 predictian from 1 ta 24 itours ahead itas been produced at tite Atmospheric Sounding Slation «El Arenasilla» (Spain) by Milcitailov et al. (1999). ‘mis metitad is based aix a multi-regressian of deviatian of itaurly foF2 fram running median with tite previaus abservations ant] Ap índex. Spe- cial procedures itave been developed by Mann et al. (1999) to predict foF2 t]u- ring severe starm periods witit lead times larger titan 3 hours. ‘me metitod comprises tite basic version of tite mediad ta be used during quiet time and ma- - t]erately disturbed conditians witit switcliing ta a special mode to predict during strongly disturbed periods. Finally, tite COSI 251 forecasting procedure for estimating values of foF2 aud M(3000)F2 itas been extended to include farecasts of TEC ayer Europe (Cander et al., 1999).

4.5.6. Merit of íonospheric indices

Researcit ín this fleid was carried aut witit tite dauble ami of citaracterísing botit tite relationsitips between indices and also seasonal citanges. Separate cubic polynaniial relationsitips itave been derived between R, 2 aud MF2 indices

for eacit mantit of tite year and for tite up-gaing and dawn-coming italf salar

cycles, but adopted figures are titase far both italf cycles combined. A simpli-

fied linear relatiansitip ín terms of

MF2 for input to mapping codes witich are specified in terms of R12, since in same cases tite alternative use of die cubie relations wauld result un inconsis- tencies and would not be passible. Small systematic seasonal changes in MF2 itave been detected but sucit features are absent in tite cases of aud 1 indi- ces. ‘me reasans far titese effects are currently not clear, but are believed to be related to tite fact titat MF2 is given entirel>’ from Nartitern hemispitere mea- surements, witereas T is based aix measurement data for both itemispiteres. litis aspect is subject to furtiter review, but it is suggested these seasonal citanges are nat impartant since titey are campensated in tite way tite faF2 re- gression relatiansitips are determined. As far as indices bar use in sitort-term ionospitenic predictians were can- cerned, titree separate investigatians concerning can be reported: (1) Perrane and De Francesciti (1998) itave reviewed tite mast cammon solar, ionaspiteric ant] geamagnetic indices witit particular reference ta titeir application for radio- communication predictians purpases, (u) Bencze et al. (1998) itave undertaken studies ta derive a daily MF2 index witicit is perturbed from tite mandily value by an exponential function witicit depends aix neutral density citange due to ge- omagnetie activity as citaracterised by die Kp índex aud (iii) Muittarov ant] Ku- tiev (1998a) itave developed a similar type of índex as tite basis of a new sitart-tenn predictian mediad un witicit regular manthly median variatians of a given íanaspiteric citaracteristic are carrected by a factor which depends Une- arly aix tite assaciated auto-correlatian function expressed un terms of Kp.

has been proposed for use widi diese past


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4.5.7. Long-term trends of ¡onospiterie change

Síndies iii tite area dealt witit long-term trends observations of t]ifferent io- nospiterie paranxeters (Beneze et a]., 1998; Bremer, 1998, 1999a,b; Danilov ant] Mikhailov, 1998; Lastovicka, ¡997). Here mainly ionasonde dala itave bern analysed considering tite following twa main problesns: a) Are Itere marked

trent]s iii tite jonospitere wliicit canid be important lar tite ionospberic HP pro- pagatian anil its prediction? it) Are titere trends witich are cannected witb anthropogenicafly cansed atmospheric influences (e.g. greenhause effeet)? In tite frame of tite COSI 251 projeet tite first problern is more important where- as the second problem is a general sejentifie and also political questian. Por tite investigation of tite secand problern also sorne additional ianospiteric amI al- maspiterie parameters ita-ve been analysed. It itas been sitown that tite detected ionaspiteric trends are relatively srnall compared widi tite solar ant] geomagnetie influences. literefore, during tite next years it is net neeessary to take mío acceuní their influences en te ionospiteric


tite future. Especially it sitould be noticed that tite scientific problem of a pos- sible increasing almaspiterie greenitonse effect requires furtiter investigadomis.

radio propagation. Neve-rtheless diis effect itas Lo be carefully monitored iii

ano] eannotlii titebeF2explainedregian titebyresultstite greenhauseof tite treno]effect.analyses are partly controversia]

4.5.8. Assessrnen¿t of rrans-ionospher¡c propagation

Researcit iri Ibis area was part of tite issues cancerning investígation of io- nospiterie propagation effecís ami radio systems used br navigation, geodesy ant] rat]io-astronomy. Propagaflon effecís due to baekground jonization (retarda- don, dispersion, plane-af-polarisation rotation ant] absorption) ant] dat ta irte- gularíties (seintillation> were analyset] ant] prediction teefiniques produced. Attention primarily focussed en day-to-day variability. Due lo eonxplex solar-terrestnal relatiansitips ionospheric parameíers sucit as tite peak cloe- tran density ant] ‘EEC sitow a ratiter higit day-to-day varíability due la a strong competition al varlaus processes. Variability studies lar ‘EEC itave been carnet] out, especially ami tite basis of tite higit resalution Faraday dala that were gained between 1978 ano] 1989 at Florence (líaN). It tumed aul thai equivalent slab tbickness can be used te transíer tite variability infarmation lot foF2 in tite fo- llowing way: a) calculate peak electron density from foF2 ano] b) multiply peak eleetron densiíy with madel values of slab titickness ano] use tite resulí to assess variability of vertical electron canlcnt. ‘mis seheme is proposed lot tite future because it is not possíble ta replace tite higit resaludan Faraday dala by OPS-IEC. lite secano] topíc aix which attentien was focused was tite study of stonns. During storms TEC Jata indicate large deviatians It-orn tite mean beitaviour up

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to 200% (Jakowski ant] Schlueter, 1999). Tite siatistical stut]y has revealed sig- nificant differences in tite temporal development between Summer and Winter storms. Ta stut]y te ionospiteric variability un terms of ThC, a rms analysis has been canied out referring ta a mean 6m-2, diurnal witereas TEC tite variation. itígbest values ‘me absalute appear at rms lo - values wer latitudes range from probab¡y abaut due 1- 4x10’ ta tite itigiter absalute level of TEC at day-times. ‘me percentage deviations range from about 20% at lower latitudes up to 60% un auroral latitudes. No signifzcant longitudinal effect appears. Using global or regional permanent operating OPS ground station networks (e.g. diat from IGS ) it is suggested diat te derived ‘WC maps may be usad to study large sca- le structures un electran density ano] titeir mavement during ionospiteric per - turbations, ‘mus, bat individual storm citaracteristics of tite geomagnetic/ia- nospiterie storms as well as common features derived fram statistical studies can be analysed. Tite generation of ‘WC maps allows also tite computation of ring maps ayer te European area. Tite application of sucit maps ta fmt] aut areas of particular variability was cansidered. GPS based IEC manitoring can effectively be used ta study large scale ianospiteric perturbatians.

4.5.9. Prediction of tite FI layer occurrence ¿md «L condition»

Tite critical frequency faFí predicted by tite Du Citarme formula (Du

Citarme et al., 1973) assumes limits bar tite presence of die layer as a funetion

of te solar zenitit angle and of die solar activity given by tite

study undertaken in die frame of COST 251, a probability function ta evaluate tite occurrence of die Fi layer ano] «L condition» (cases witere electran density profiles an te ianagrams traces sitow a ledge ratiter dian a remarkable cusp, so no critical frequenc>’ can be assigned to tite layer) was proposed te replace tite limits mentioned aboye (Scotto, 1999).

index. un te

4.5.10. fonosplierie variability

A lot of efforts itas been devoted to te establisitnient of statistics of te re- latíve deviatíons of foF2 ant] M(3000)F2 Irom a reference leve] ayer tite Ru- rapean region (Kauris et al., 1998; Muhtarav et al., 1999). ‘me relative contú- butions ab quasi-periadic oscillatians from 2 ta 35 days to te variability of foF2 at middle Nortitem latitudes un Europe itave been investigated (Altadilí, 1996; Lastovicka ano] Mlch, 1996; Altadill and Lastovicka, 1996; Altadilí a al., 1998; Apostalav et al., 1998; Solé et al., 1999). ‘me results suggest diat diere is a clear seasonal variation wit maximum un Suminer solstice ano] mínimum in Winter ene. lite contributiens are modulated it>’ tite solar cycle ant] simúlta- neausly influenced by te long-term geamagnetic activity variations. Tite exis-


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tence ant] development of tite quasi-2-day oscillations in tite plasma frequency variations of tite F-region at Nortitern middle latitudes itas been confirmed using a methadology titat allows to do such study at fixed heigitts. lanospiteric quasi-periodic variability caused by gravity ant] planetary waves has been analysed (Lastovicka, 1999). Effects on tite F-regian of titree types of waves, witicit come from below ant] affect te ionospitere, were cansidered. litese wa- ves are planetary waves (periods of days), tides (periods of 24, 12, sometimes 8 hours) and gravity waves (a few minutes to a few hours partly coming from auroral ionaspitere/titermospitere, partly coming from below). Tite annual ant] latitudinal variations of spread F itave been stut]ied at mit]- latitudes (Bencze ano] Márez, 1998, 1999; Bencze ano] Poar, 1999). ‘me spread

F occurrence frequency has been determined. litis occurrence indicates an

annual variation with a maximum in the Winter montits ano] a minimum in the

Summer months like the annual variation of the occurrence at high latitudes. 1-lowever, tite amplitude of tite annual variation of tite occurrence is smaller in

It was

years of maximum

salar activity

titan in years of minimum

salar activity.

shawn titat tite occurrence frequency of spread F decreases with increasing ge- omagnetic activity, witich is apposite to tite situation at itigh latitudes. Tite ob- served latitudinal extensian of tite irregularities vanes between 150 km and .1 lOO km. In addition characteristics changes have been establisited of electron density profile in response ta gravity wave upward propagation. Gravity waves propa- gating througit tite ionospitere cause a cyclic variatian of the vertical electron t]ensity profile. litis signature has been observed in a number of single site ia- nogram sequences taken at 5 minute ant] 15 minute intervals by Moaritead and Radicella (1998). ‘me wavelength of tite gravity waves was 600 to 2000 km:

lite temporal variation observed at the saunder location was transiated into a spatial model of tite gravity wave. Some parameters of tite channel scattering function have been deduced.

4.5.11. Disturbance effects

lite activities carnet] with titis area refer to tite investigation of disturban-

ce effects ami tite behaviour of ionospheric parameters (Bradley et al., 1997;

Bremer, 1996; Bremer et al., 1996; Davis et al., 1997; Fuller-Rowell et al., 1998; Gordienko ant] Kaliev, 1998; Lastovicka, 1996; Iulunay, 1996). Tite re- action of tite middle latitude ionospitere ta geamagnetic storms itas been mo- delled empirically by Fourier decomposition (Kutiev et al., 1998; Muhtarov ant] Kutiev, 1998b) ant] an algorititm based on linear prediction filters has been developed ta forecast foF2 citanges related to strong geomagnetic stonns (Va- silievie ant] Cander, 1997). lite post storm effects in the D reglan ionisation titat influences ionospiteric propagated radio waves has been stut]ied with promising results.

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Special consideration itas been given to itigit latitude disturbance efbects. Direct correlation studies between geomagnetie indices ant] ionospiteric para- meters gaye un te past poar results tul to tite intraduction by Wrenn (1987) of a simple way of treating a selected magnetic index by means of a time series accumulation ob tite index itself. lix tite frame of COSI Action 251, a similar analysis has been carried out but related to te itigit latitude stations Europe (Perrene ¿md De Franceschi, 1999). Metbods were explored te evaluate tite ca- rrelatian degree separatel>’ for each mondi ob te year ano] bar te up-going and

t]own-coming italf solar cycle. It was demonstrated especialí>’ titat tite corre- lation degree sitows a clear seasanal dependence, being maximum during Summer. A better correlation was found during tite rising phase of tite solar cycle.

‘me effects of strong nietearological events on te

F-region ionospitere

itave been studied. It seems to be developed best at iteigitts near 200 km but af- fects tite witole F2 region up ta its maximum. it is believed to be transferred up- wards by gravity waves of tropospheric origin. Ibis gravity wave activity was fauno] to increase remarkably after te Mt. Pinatubo volcanic eruption un tite long-period range (1.5-3 itours) ano] ta increase wit increasing solar activity in

te 1 1-year

solar cycle (Lastovicka et al., 1998).

Lastly mentían sitould be ¡nade of investigations of geomagnetic storni

efbects aix tite Fi -layer.

4.S.12. Trough modetling

‘me main or mid-latitude trougit is tite main ianospiteric structure at mio]- and sub-auroral latitudes during nigitttime. There itave been a variety of tech- niques to observe tite trougit, including ionosandes, incoiterent scatter ant] ‘EEC, as well as satellite-bome experiments. Unfartunatel>’ tite ionosande net- work is not dense enougit aud nigitttime ionograms from traugb-region latitudes obten suffer fram disturbances. Topside sounders are a possible source of in- formation about trougit sitape, but tite latitudinal resolution is insufficient to de- fine tite trough morpitalogy. Direct use of the latitude dependence of vertical TEC itas pravided case studies bar tite steepness of tite walls of te traugit, its widtit ano] statistical data far tese parameters, but witit camparativel>’ large error margins. Relationsitips between te latitudinal pasition of te trougit ano] local time ant] geomagnetic activity indices have been generated. However despite tite long itistory of titeoretical work, aur knawledge 18 noÉ far-rea- citing. Nevertheless it is ver>’ important ta itave reliable infonnatian aix tite sita- pe of tite trougit un electron density at tite F-layer peak for terrestrial ant] tran - sionospiteric telecammunicatiaixs applications. A new approacitto madelling te trougit itas been demonstrated. ‘mis met- ited is basal en a temagraphic image of tite ionospitere over United Kingdom that is extrapolated te odier longitudes across tite Europeaix sector (Fig. 6). Ini-


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tial results from the mapping were shown to compare well with observations from jonosondes located between 12 to 30( East of tite tomography receiver chain (Mitchell et al., 1997). lix a separate study a seasonal variation has been revealed in the latitudinal position of tite trougit, showing te trougit to be furtiter south during tite winter titan tite summer (Mitcitell et al., 1999a,b).









Tomograph¡c Iniage:



Electron density <xl O’ ni’)






LAIIIUDE (degrees>










Figure 6. Model of electron density over Europe using the toniographic image froin a sateflite pass.

‘me basis for tite COST 251 traugit model is a combination of a small-sca-

le trougit model witit a large-scale background madel for electron density:

Ne(h~ 9,2)

=ML(h,~¾A+T(h, q~,2)

witere : electron density; ML : ¡arge-scale madel; T : trough model; h iteigitt; 4) latitude; 2 : longitude. A Gaussian depression could serve as one of tite simplest possibilities for T. Aix investigation was carnet] out un arder to evaluate the position of tite traugit minimum in invariaixt geomagnetic coar- dinates on te basis of a large database from the DE2 satellite (Stanislawska et al., 1 999c). lite sitape of tite trougit is defined by te simplification of thc mid-latitude ionospiteric trougit model based aix European foF2 values den - ved from analysis of Magion-3 HF radio spectrometer data (Bradley et al., 1998). Aix example of instantaneous map of foF2 generated by the PLES3 procedure witit titis trough model during an intense magnetic storm is pre— sented un Fig. 7. Following companison witit otiter modeis, it was demonstra-

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ted titat titis model is well suited far telecommunications applications (Tulu- nayetal., 1998).










<si 0-


a, a

















Figure 7. Example ofinstantaneous map of foF2 (xlO/MHz) for 10 Muy 1992 st 2200 h UT generated by te PLES3 procedure with the new mid-latitude trough model asid five measurements.

4.6. Comparison procedures and results

‘me overalí accuracy of different faF2, M(3000)P2 ant] electron density profile modeis developed t]uring tite project needs te be assessed. lii arder te obtain comparable results, tite same data set and tite same procedure was ap- plied witen making camparisans between measurements ant] te results of tite models. Tests were carneo] ant independently un Bulgaria, Italy ano] the United Kingdam, witit identical results. ‘mineen vertical-incidence ianosande stations were selected bar testing, giving goad spatial sampling of tite COSI 251 area. Por long-term mapping, montly met]ians were used, witile bar instantaneous mappings, itourly data

5»~ da>’ of eacit montit were used. Quality cbecks aix tite testing da-

tabases resulted in tite eliinination of most of te unreliable dala. Far long-term mapping, mondis widi gaps of total length greater tan 15 days, or single gap of lengt greater titan 10 days, ar extreme values exceet]ing 20% of tite total number of vaho] values for tat mondi were elinúnated. Honrs wit number of valid values less tban 5 were also eliminated. Por instantanenus mapping, ex- treme values were eliminated. A titresitolo] probability of 0.99 was used to de- fine te extreme values bar each statian. Tite testing database for electron-density heiÉitt profile included tapside profiles obtained from COSMOS ant] ISIS-Alouette topside saunt]ers ano] bat- tomsit]e profiles fram five statians in Ita]>’, Polaud, Spain ant] United Kingdanx, obtained by inversian of vertical-incidence ianagrams using POLAN (Titite-

fram te


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ridge, 1985) ant] ARIISI (Reinisch et al., 1988). An overalí rms error was

camputed for eacit profile, and titese were titen averaged ayer te whole data-

base. For bottomsit]e profiles, it

uncertainties in tite inverted profiles un tite D- ano] F 1 -layer.

was decided to focus ami tite F2-layer in view of


Long-term mapping of monthly median foF2 ant! M(3000)F2

The rnodels were ranked according to the global rms error. In addition, au- xiliary tests were carried out to ensure a goad merge with tite ITU-R global mappings. Tite madellers were asket] to supply 24 maps, un te fornv¡ of a lati-

tude-longitude grid of results (resolution 2.5( far latitude, 5( far longitude) for tite COSI 251 area, for a selection of montits ano] itaurs. Maps were requi- red for 0000, 0600, 1200 ant] 1800 it UI for tite selected manths. A grat]ient citeck was carried out at tite barders of tite maps. Most models improve on tite current ITU-R model. The gradient checks were a crucial part of tite resting procedure. A number of modeis dio] nat pass that test, some witit very serious problems, some witit minar problems only. Far foF2, in retrospective ¡nade, MQMF2 is tite only model titat sa- tisfies tite gradient checks ano] has rms error less titan 0.5 MHz. Tite next best model witicit satisfies the gradient citeck is PLES 1. Of tite madels


R 12 input oní>’

ano] satisfying tite gradient citecks, MQMF2R itas the

best rms error. For M(3000)F2, UNDIV is tite model with tite best rms errar. It alsa satisfies the gradient checks ant] R12 input requirements. MQMF2 is a clase secano].

4.6.2. Jnstantaneous mapping offoF2 and M(3000)F2

Again te models were ranked accort]ing to ms error. For foF2 mapping, tite Kriging algorithms in tite methods PLES2 ano] PLES3 pei-form better titan tite fitting algorititms un the metitot]s PLESS ant] PLES6 ano] give exce- llent results witile for M(3000)F2 mapping fitting algorititnis un tite metitod PLES5 provide tite best accuracy. For both citaracteristics tite performance of MQMF2 is excellent tao ano] has comparable accuracy. Tite use of tite trough model in PLES3 does bring a small improvement, but requires at]ditional in- put data.

4.6.3. Electron-densiíy iteight profile

Comparisons have been made between tite profiles obtained from COSI- PROF ant] IRI models ant] measured topside ant] battamside electran-density iteigitt profiles.

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‘me COSIPROF model gives a substantial impravement ayer tite Rl mo- del for tapside profiles aix tite testing database. ‘me performance of te COST- PROF ant] Rl model is similar on te battomside prafiles tested itere, widi botit rnot]els giving a ver>’ small rms errar. Hawever it sbould be nated titat tite IRI itas sorne serious sitortcomings in its formulation for te upper F region. One of tite problems appears un itigiter latitudes at itigit solar activity. Tite profiles teno] to acquire unrealistically large profile scale iteigbts. Even ixegative seale iteights appear (exponential increase ob electron density widi heigitt aboye tite F2-layer peak). COSTPROF remains realistie under alí conditions, botit witit global (ITU-R) ano] regional (COSI 251) input parameters.


‘me primar>’ objective was ta defme a bunctianal citannel simulator arciti- tecture Ter HP systems in Europe. ‘mere are clear shortcomings ¡ix tite Watter- son madel (Watterson et al., 1970) witicit is widely used as a basis of existing simulators, not least being te limited data aix witicit te model was originally based. Also, tite Watterson model inhereixtly describes narrowbano] (appraxi- mately 3 kHz bandwidtit) citanneis, witereas future simulators sitaulo] be com- patible with a range of system bandwidths np te at least 1 MHz, corresponding ta a time resolution of 1 micrasecono]. A new basic structure for tite realisation of a channel simulator aix ge-

neral purpose DSP-boards

itas been produced (Van der Perre, 1997; Van


Pene et al., 1997). Tite functional elements of tite simulator are specified un

such a wa>’ tbat a complete range of citannel types, appropriate for HP transmission system testing up to bandwidtits of at least 1 MHz, can be im - plemented. lix additian, a Wattersan model ma>’ be simulated, if required. Consideratian was given to tite applicability of a replay-type simulator un te COST 251 context. In general, it was felt tat tus dio] not provide an ap- propriate basis of flexibility for dxc range of applications envisaged. Ha- wever, bar unpredictable events sucit as itigit latitude disturbances, it would be passible ta incorparate replay segments unto tite overalí time profile of tite simulator test program.





General propagation modell¡ng

Researcit activity conceming general propagation modelling was oriented aboye alí towards producing simulatian tools bar overalí perfonnance pret]ic-


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tion. Numerical methoo]s for tite modelling of 1fF radio wave propagation in tite real ianosphere has been developed (Giterm et al., 1998a). Tite term «real io- nospitere» is understoat] to describe a medium witit three dimensional slowly- varying electromagnetie properties of tite backgrount] and time dependent in- itamogeneities as well as deterministic and random inhomogeneities, inclut]ing extra bent]ing of rays, multi-ray effects ano] diffraction effects. ‘mese methods are based on te camplex pitase method far wave propagation in a slowly var- ying media with local initomogeneities embedded. Special attentian itas been given to tite problem of the HP fluctuating citan- nel citaracterisation un tite case of frequencies clase ano] aboye tite MUF. Ihis panicular situation of a skip field is described by a specifxcally developed wave fiel] integral representation in terms of t]iffracting camponent waves (Oiterm et al., 1998b, 1999). In at]dition Éhe tecitnique itas been developed bar modelling large-scale ionospheric structures wit tite itorizontal gradients of tite ionaspiteric electran density. Researcit activities aix propagatian mot]elling in- volved also tite construction of a computer code to take into accaunt tite ma- vement of tite main ionaspiteric trougit.

7.2. F2-Iayer basic MUF variabllity

lix tite higitly cangested HP bano] the signal quality generally increases as tite frequency approacites tite MUF. HF propagation predictians procedures sucit as titat of Recammendation ITU-R P.533 (ITU-R, 1995) can provide guidance aix tite expected performance of eircuits. litese procedures are ba- seo] aix average beitaviour of tite ianospitere ano] sitaulo] not be expected ta give informatian beyand titeir statistical capabilities. It sitaulo] be noted that generalí>’ operators ano] frequency managers teno] to select frequen- cies, whicit are anywitere from 65 to 90% of tite predicted MUF. If madeis sitaulo] pravide a better prediction of tite distribution of tite daily MUF’s araun] tite mandil>’ median MUF, then it might be possible successful ope- ration at frequencies closer to tite predicted MUF. Titis woult] be very ad- vantageous far spectrum occupancy since it wauld widen tite available bands far use, especialí>’ t]uring periods of low solar activity. Furthermore tite evaluatian of the MUF variability ma>’ facilitate improved frequency sitaríng un HF terrestrial systems. lite variabi!ity of tite basic MUF (i.e. tite itigitest frequency by witicit a ra- dio wave can propagate between given terminals, an a specified occasion, by ionaspiteric refraction anly) with patit lengtit itas been investigated by Bradley et al. (1998). It itas been fauno] titat tite upper decile deviation from tite median usually increases sligittly with distance witilst tite lower decile deviation falís, but citanges are relativel>’ small. One of tite key aspects treated was tite esta- blisitment of bounds for tite relative magnitudes of tite day-to-day variations in foF2 ano] M(3000)F2 on quiet ano] disturbed days ano] itow titese citange witit

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season, location ant] solar activity (Fotiadis ano] Kouris, 1998). Tite day-ta-day variation ab tite basic MUF itave been compared witit titase of foF2 ant] M(3000)F2 (Kouris et al., 1999). Tables of values for botit tite ratio of te up- per ant] lower decile values to te median basic F2-MUIF itave been provided. lite F2-layer basic MUF variability ma>’ be evaluated bar tite COSI 251 area from tese new reference figures, whicit are sligittly t]ifferent from tose given un CCIR (1980).

7.3. Stat¡st¡cal characterisation of HF channel

‘me statistical citaracterisatian of te beitaviour of te transniissioix citannel was an impartant topic of researcit. Since jonospitere vanes witit time, space ant] frequency in man>’ scales, tus task was nat a trivial activity. Difberent ap- praacites to describe te scattering funetion were studiet] (Oiterm and Zernov, 1998; Zemav et al., 1999) ano] metitods to statistically analyse ano] citaracterise te variations of the HE citannel response have been developed (Arikan ano] Eral, 1998; Arikan, 1999). Since most of te widely available data sets consist of vertical- ar ablique- incidence sounding data, citaractenisation parameters can be extracted from sucit data sets utilising oní>’ tite amplitude infarmation ob received single tone signals. By te propased metitodalogy, robust estimates ta time var- ying mean ano] variance of te citannel response is obtaiixeo]. For titis purpose, sliding windaw statistics of te available data is used. un applying te sliding window statistics, tite window size is citasen as long as possible to pravide better estimates ano] still sitort enougit to capture te underlying time vaniation ob tite citannel response. Based an tite estimated variance of obtained re- sults, detaileo] justification an te proper windaw size is given. Iii arder ta ob- tain more reliable estimates, tite data is median filtered prior to statistical analysis. ‘mis new statistical analysis approacit is applied to available data ob- tained from measurement campaigns. Tite results ob tite statistical analysis confirmed tite expectatians on tite pit>’sical beitaviour of tite ianospiteric citannel. It was fauno] tat tite midíatitude single t’requency citannel is slowly time varying ano] localí>’ stationary un a sliding window of 22 secands. It was cont’irmed diat during earl>’ morning itours ant] mght itours, te citannel is cansiderably more stable bar camniunication purpases campared to day ano] early eveniixg itaurs. Witen considering te establisitment of ebficient ano] reliable communica- tion links thraugit te ianospiteric citannel, scattering function ano] oter citan- nel coherence bunctions are usualí>’ computed ano] examined. Twa majar alter- natives were cansidered bar tite numenical camputation of diese functions. In tite first metitod, tis is acitieved titrougit tite estimation of tite autocarrelation of citaxinel impulse utilising te transmitteo] ant] received signals from contra- íleo] experiment response (Arikan ant] Arikan, 1997). lix te secano] suggested


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1?. Hanhaba ¿md fi. Zol ¿si

lmprov¡sd Quah¡y ofSen’kc iii Ionospheric

metitod, estimation of te HE citannel impulse response is tite fu-st step ant] the scattering functjan is computed utilising tite channel response (Aúkan, 1998,


Afta assessing tite elfieieney, performance-, coniputational eomplexity

HP channel response, it is con-

cluded that ¡Calman Filía estimator witit proper adaptation provides tite- besÉ esrimate. ‘Ehus a meíhodalogy was developed ta estimare time varying, fading, ¡nultipath HP channel response numerically titrough aix adaptive Kalman Fílter based channel estimator utílisíng tite data froni cantrolled

experiments (Arikan, 1998, 1999). Majar advantage of adaptive KaInian Filter based chamad esúmator is that it can efficiently track the variations iii tite channel response. Titas tite physieal moo]ei of thc channel can be incor-

porated loto te estimatar. Titis capabili¡y daes noÉ exist un ata

Adaptation of te ¡Calman Filter tu rite variarions iii te ehannel response has been implementeo] at varjoas leveis ant] seales especially ay tite initialisation ano] parameter adaptation. Based on simulations of HP channeis under goad, moderate ant] poar ionospheric states ant] lar Signal ta Naise Ratias (SNR) from 10 to 40 dB, it has been observed thar adapúve ¡Calman Filter conver- ges fasta for lowest error not only for goad ano] moderate conditions ant] high SNRs but alsa kw poar knospiteric state- ano] low SNRs. Titas tite sug- gesteo] adaptatian significandy improves the perforniance of te standard

¡Calman Filter estimator.

ano] casÉ of these metitot]s la estímatitig te


7.4. Modelling of HP spectral occupancy

Measurements of HP spectral occupane>’ allowed tite development of (i) low- ant] higit-angle occupancy ovei~ Narthem Europe ano] (u) variation of oc- cupancy with azinxuth (Eeonomou cÉ al., 1998; Panújaros et al,, 1998). Tite logit ¡nade], witit the appropriate model index funetion y~, forms tite LaycockXiott madel for esrimated congestion Qk for ¡TU frequency allocation k (Pantjiaros et al,. 1997). Tite mdcx funetion y~ of tite paranreters on whicit oc - cupancy depends is detennined by statistical analysis of tite experimental data, Por cae-it receiving site-, estimates of Yk are determined for each of tite 95 ITIJ frequency allocations, ano] tite variatian of diese 95 index functions with fre~ quency is titen madelled, ta give a single model índex funetion applying to tite catire HP spectrutn. Uy dcveloping tite same farm of moJel lar cadi ¡ite~ ant] comparing tite coeffieients of tite parametcrs of titese modeis, a single model kw loar sites is derived by attributing differe-nces in me-asure-U congestion values to differences in te locatiomis of tite reeeiving sites. Tite titting pracedure ay- tenxpts to model tite systematie camponent of tite dala, witilsí allowing Lot tite random coniponent. ‘mis gives a meidel which is better able to pre-dict future values of accupaney, ant] witicit may be develapecl readiiy by tite- inclusion of adt]itional measureme-nts.

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7.5. Real Time Frequency Manage¡nent

Develapinents un tite availability of flexible ant] rapit]ly-contrallable equipment, un broad bano] antennas ano] un tite regulatary environment now permit tite economic possibility of adaptive EF systems to provide itigit per- bormance using real time frequency management. Studies wititin this COSI Action itave been concerned with aspects ab tite control algoritms, models ano] diagnostic measurement metitods to enitance tite frequency management funetion. ‘mere is now aix increasing need Lo provide higit data rate caminunicatian ano] die averalí utilisation of tite spectrum will be enitanced by consideration of at]aptivity in tite modulation wavefornxs ant] data rates in response ta tite cha- racteristics of tite citannel transber bunction. ‘me tapies cansidered o]uring tite COSI Action relevant ta titis subject were tite following.

1. The effective use of ionospiteric sounding witit very low pawers itas be-en introduce-o], titus minimising tite interference causeo] by te neces- sary diagnostic measurements

2. ‘me probabilistic modelling of interference was undertaken. ‘mis work ma>’ be used witbin tite frequene>’ selection algoritlxm.

3. Tecitnique-s for tite measurement of tite scattering funetion, based aix tite spreao]ing ob signal dela>’ ant] Doppler or on a fractal measurement ab tite funetion, itave been developed ano] sitaulo] lead ta statistical mo- deis.

4. Sitort-term forecasting (itours aitead) ano] ver>’ sitort-term forecastíng (minutes ahead) itas been considered. Iii particular, metitods of data fu- sian ant] a neuronal approach were considered whicit enable estimates of interference to be made.


Seven computer programs (Table 1) itave been prepared to provide predic-

tions in accordance witit te

1998). ‘me calculation related eititer to results for difberent times at a single citasen place, or as maps ayer a specified area aL a single time. Locatians ano] maps may be anywitere in tite world, witit interface as apprapriate ta te ITU- R global inaps of ionospiteric citaracteristies ant] to tite ]RI electran-t]ensity iteigitt profile model. ‘me computer programs are available from anonymaus ftp ://haydn.cbk.waw.pi.

recommended pracedures (Stanislawska et al.,


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2000, 12,61-103

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improved Qualiíy of Service in Jonospheric

Table 1: Lisí of pro gramí ant! output parameterí availab!efrom anonymous ftp :1/hayt!n.chk.









A. Mikitailov, Institute of Apptiet] Geopitysics, Russia


Long-term mapping


R. Leitinger, University of Graz, Austria


Long-term mapping


1. Stanislawska, Space


Instantaneous mapping

Research Centre,



1. Stanislawska, Spaee


Instantancaus mapping

Research Centre,



R. Leitinger, University


Long-term mapping ant]

of Graz, Austria

heigbt profile

instantancaus mapping


R. Leitinger. University of Graz, Austria


Long-term mapping


1. Kutiev, Geophysical Institute, Bulgaria


Short-term forecasting


COSI 251 itas undertaken ano] completed a large variety of tasks. Tite pri- mary objective of tite praject was to recommend improved procedures to im- prove quality of ionospiteric teleconiniunication systems planning ant] operation in Europe. Majar advances itave been abtained in janospiterie ant] plasmasp- iteric modelling ant] system performance prediction under normal ant] disturbed conditians. Tite results obtained t]uxáng tite Action can be applied directly ta

operatianal use. Tite Final Repon, based aix material provided by 34 contribo- ting autitors witin titis Action, is et]ited by Hanbaba (1999) ant] publisited by tite Space Researcit Centre, Warsaw, Poland. It is anticipated to annaunce titat


time. Co-operation wititin COST itas pravided efficiency ant] informality of tite co-aperation with otiter scientists beyond tite political ano] administrative confines of Europe. Participaiits gaye empitasis aix spe-eifie temes following

new pracedures will meet users requirements ant] wiIl be adopted for a long

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¡mprovet!Quahty of Service ir> Ionospheric

titeir own expertise ano] interest but witit an application ariented goal. It sitaulo] be noted titat COST insures a crass bertilisation of ideas ano] warking

togedier in a larger group ta provide baster progress on a greater number ab frants tan ane country cault] manage alone. It was recagnised diat te COSI framework is tite only framework to develop titis researcit independently of ecanomical interests. Only tite scientific interest ano] tite potential future ap- plicatians were te key factars. ‘me added value in carrying aut researcit under

networks. ‘me ca -

te COSI framework is f¡rst of aH tite establisitment of new

llabaration establisited o]uring COSI 251 pennitted te establisitment ab viable

combined teams witit sufficient size ano] resaurces ano] enlarged tite callaba- ratian between institutes in Puropean Cauntries, stimulating researcit in many of titem.

new horizans of Eartit-space systems develop-

me-nt including titat interests Europe a more careful definition of tite upper atmaspitere structure ano] variability particularly in its topside regian is ne- eded. Such definition is an important basis for a COST Actian oriented ta- wards tite evaluatian of tite upper atmospitere effects on tite advanced Eartit-space communicationS systems including navigational systems ano] LEO ano] MEO satellites constellatians. Cansistent witit titis, a four-year fo- llaw-on Actian «Effects of tite upper atmospitere aix terrestrial ano] Eartit- space communicatians» itas been propase-o] witit tite fallowing objectives:

(i) ta perfarm studies to influence tite tecitnical develapment ano] tite im - plementation of new cammunicatian services, (ji) ta develop metitods ano] algarititms to pre-dict ano] ta minimize tite effects of ionospiteric perturba- tions ano] variations aix cammunicatians, (iii) ta collect additional ano] new ianospiteric ano] plasmaspiteric data far naw-casting ano] forecasting pur- poses ano] (iv) ta stimulate furtiter ca-aperation un tite damain of ianosp - iteric ano] plasmaspiteric prediction ano] forecasting bar tenestrial ano] Eartit- space cammunications, including interactive repercussions aix tite carrespanding standards un titis fiel], taking into account users prese-nt ano] future need.

Taking unto account te


‘me work canied out during COSI 251, described in titis paper, itas made it passible by a large number of participants of dibferent Eurapean cauntries in putting tagedier teir camplemeixtary competence to appraacit te common pro-

blem ab ano] to propase operational solutions. A special acknawleo]gement is made to tite invaluable work ab alí participants in titis Actian. ‘manks ta titeir dedicated efborts ant] active ca-operation ayer te four-year period, COST 251


a large success. Man>’ tanks un particular bar provision ob material inclu-

ded un titis paper. Finally aur tanks go to Angela Vernan bar iter entusiasm ano] assistance.


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