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Characterization of IoNospheric TurbulENce level by Swarm constellation


The Characterization of IoNospheric TurbulENce level by Swarm constellation (INTENS) project is an ESA EOSS (EO Science for Society) activity. EOSS is one of the five EOEP (Earth Observation Envelope Programme) core activities (2017-2021).

Data from the Swarm constellation mission will help to investigate and understand how the physical phenomenon known as "turbulence" that can interfere and influence radio signals propagation and the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), used for air and sea navigation and for the correct positioning with GPS (Global Positioning System). Turbulence can be described as a fluid motion characterised by the irregular and chaotic changes in flow velocity in contrast to a laminar flow.

This project aims to investigate the turbulent nature of the geomagnetic field and plasma parameters (electron density and temperature) in the ionosphere as recorded by the Swarm constellation during a period of four years (from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2018). Swarm measurements will give the opportunity to get a precise characterisation of the different ionospheric turbulence regimes of the medium crossed by satellites on scales from hundreds of kilometres to a few kilometres, when considering low-resolution data, and from tens of kilometres to a few meters when considering data at the highest resolution.

Ground-based observations from the SuperDARN network at high latitudes and the ENIGMA array at low-middle latitudes will complement Swarm data. The investigation proposed in the framework of the INTENS project with a duration of one year is an example of the excellent capability of Swarm data to provide new insights on the ionosphere-magnetosphere coupling.

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This project is funded by ESA.