We investigate the azimuthal distribution of amplitude scintillation observed by Global Positioning System (GPS) ground receivers at Pontianak (0.0°S, 109.3°E; magnetic latitude: 9.8°S) and Bandung (6.9°S, 107.6°E; magnetic latitude: 16.7°S) in Indonesia in March and September from 2011 to 2015. The scintillation is found to occur more to the west than to the east in March at both stations, whereas no such zonal difference is found in September. We also analyze the zonal scintillation drift as estimated using three closely spaced single-frequency GPS receivers at Kototabang (0.2°S, 100.3°E; magnetic latitude: 9.9°S) in Indonesia during 2003–2015 and the zonal thermospheric neutral wind as measured by the CHAMP satellite at longitudes of 90°–120°E during 2001–2008. We find that the velocities of both the zonal scintillation drift and the neutral wind decrease with increasing latitudes. Interestingly, the latitudinal gradients of both the zonal scintillation drift and the neutral wind are steeper in March than in September. These steeper March gradients may be responsible for the increased westward altitudinal and latitudinal tilting of plasma bubbles in March. This equinoctial asymmetry could be responsible for the observed westward bias in scintillation in March, because the scintillation is more likely to occur when radio waves pass through longer lengths of plasma irregularities in the plasma bubbles.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Space and Planetary Science