ISTP Institute of solar-terrestrial physics
Russian academy of sciences, Siberian branch


Around the Earth


Research Areas

Experimental investigations of ionospheric disturbances of natural and technogenic origin, based on processing data from the global network of two-frequency receivers of the GPS-GLONASS navigation systems.
The use of the international network of two-frequency receivers of the navigation GPS system that consisted of no less than 1000 sites as of begining 2002 and has been posting its acquired data on the Internet, opens up a new era in a global, continuous, fully computerized monitoring of space weather in geospace. In the immediate future this system will incorporate the use of signals from a similar Russian system, GLONASS. ISTP SB RAS scientists have devised methods and the technology of a global GPS detector of ionospheric disturbances whose high sensitivity makes it possible to analyze ionospheric disturbances with amplitudes as large as 10-3 of the background value of total electron content. In comparison with classical ionospheric radio probing facilities, this technology provides, for the first time, a real continuity, high spatial and temporal resolution and global coverage of the monitoring of ionospheric disturbances.

Priority objectives

  1. Investigations of the global activity of different-scale natural ionospheric irregularities in geomagnetically quiet conditions and during magnetic storms.
    • Investigations of global spectral and dynamic characteristics of traveling ionospheric disturbances. Verification of the hypothesis about the role of geomagnetic disturbances as the factor governing the characteristics of the spectrum of traveling ionospheric disturbances.
    • Investigations of the global ionospheric response to a sudden commencement of severe geomagnetic storms.
    • Investigations of global three-dimensional spectral and dispersion characteristics of traveling ionospheric disturbances.
    • Investigations of spatial and temporal characteristics of polarization jet.
    • Investigations of the total electron content during active experiments (particle injection, radio heating, etc.).

  2. Investigations of shock-acoustic waves generated during spacecraft launchings, industrial explosions, underground nuclear tests, and earthquakes. Development of algorithms and of the software system for detection and localization of sources of technogenic impacts using data from the navigation GPS-GLONASS systems, based on the latest achievements in the field of a comprehensive spatial and temporal processing of signals from phased antenna arrays.

  3. Investigations of global characteristics of the atmospheric response to solar flares using the (developed at the ISTP) new technology for detection of ionospheric effects of solar flares, which improves considerably the sensitivity and spatial and temporal resolution of observations as compared with existing radio probing methods. Estimation of the sensitivity of the method of global integration in the case of the detection of the ionospheric response of weak solar fares and disturbances of non-solar origin (supernova explosions). determination of spatial and temporal characteristics of ionospheric response to large solar flares, including the spatial inhomogeneity of solar ultraviolet emission flux within the terrestrial radius. Estimation of the height distribution of the contribution from this emission to the total electron content disturbance using the method of shadowing the solar emission flux by the Earth. Investigation of the dependence of the ionospheric response on solar flare characteristics (flare class, emission spectrum, source position on the solar disk, etc.).

  4. Investigations of spatial and temporal characteristics of ionospheric response to solar eclipses, and the total solar eclipses of March 9, 1997, August 11, 1999, and June 21, 2001, in particular. Determination of the amplitude and delay of the ionospheric response to eclipse. -More.

  5. Investigation of global pulsations of total electron content and their correlation with similar geomagnetic field pulsations.

  6. Development of the numerical model for total electron content disturbances of natural and technogenic origin that is necessary for testing the algorithms and software package for detection and determining the characteristics of these disturbances.

  7. Investigations of the influence of helio-geomagnetic disturbances of geospace on positioning accuracy in the GPS-GLONASS navigation systems. Investigations of the physical mechanisms for slips of range measurements in the GPS-GLONASS navigation systems, based on data from the global GPS network and classical monitoring facilities for geospace conditions. Development of algorithms and the automated software system for monitoring and forecasting the potential positioning accuracy.

  8. Study of spectral and statistical characteristics of frequency Doppler shift, angle-of-arrival variations, and phase scintillations of decimetric radio signals during the transionospheric propagation within the GPS satellite orbit.

  9. Setting up (at the ISTP) of the center for monitoring technogenic influences and forecasting the potential positioning accuracy on the basis of real-time analysis of data from the global GPS system and helio-geophysical data available on the Internet.

  10. Creation of the database from the global GPS network spanning selected time intervals corresponding to different levels of helio-geophysical disturbances of geospace, seismic activity and technogenic influences of a different type (spacecraft launches, industrial explosions, underground explosions).

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