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Scintillation Satellite (U)

Overview (U):

(U) Phillips Lab has developed a real-time warning system to provide information on scintillation. The system acquires a 250 MHz signal from a satellite and processes the data to produce a report of scintillation conditions. A user can call an automated telephone answering system to receive voice messages of on-going scintillation activity on MILSATCOM links. The capability will be increased to frequencies that affect GPS satellites. In the far-term, a dedicated equatorial scintillation satellite would provide satellite communicators with a real-time measurement of ionospheric scintillation and allow them to take immediate actions to minimize signal fading effects.

Description (U):

(U) The National Environmental Monitoring Satellite System (NEMSS) concept includes plans for a dedicated scintillation satellite. The scintillation satellite would also follow-on or augment the C/NOF system.

(U) Ionospheric scintillation interrupts surveillance, communications, and navigation systems by severely attenuating UHF and L-band transmissions. Scintillation is a phenomenon characterized by rapid fluctuations of signal amplitude and phase caused by electron density variations associated with ionospheric disturbances. Complete transmission loss can occur and can last more than six hours after sunset over large regional areas near the magnetic equator (such as South America, The Persian Gulf, India, and Taiwan). Scintillation is caused by fluctuations in the ionosphere, and is unrelated to solar activity; however, severe solar activity can increase its effects. Some scintillation also occurs over the polar caps and under the auroral oval at all local times.

User Impact (U):

(U) To be supplied.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Programmable.

Images (U):

(U) None.

Related Initiatives (U):
SCINDAScintillation Network Decision Aid (SCINDA)
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Requirements (U):None.

Related Categories (U):
Space-Based SensorsSpace Based Sensors
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

(U) None.

Lead Office (U):

(U) Air Force.

Point of Contact (U):

(U) Maj Mike LaPointe, NSSA, Open Phone: (703) 325-6422, DSN 221-6422.
(U) National Security Space Road Map Team, NSSA, Open Phone: (703)808-6040, DSN 898-6040.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 21 November 1997

(U) Road Map Production Date: 12 July 1999

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