Vestnik КRAUNC. Fiz.-Mat. nauki. 2023. vol. 45. no. 4. P. 166-189. ISSN 2079-6641

Research Article
Full text in Russian
MSC 86A10

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Local Variations of the Total Electron Content (TEC) of the Ionosphere as Measured in the North Caucasus Mountains

N. S. Khaerdinov¹^\ast, A. N. Kurenya¹, A. S. Lidvansky¹, V. B. Petkov², M. N. Khaerdinov²

¹Institute for Nuclear Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 117312, prospekt 60-letiya Oktyabrya 7a, Moscow, Russia
²LLC “EGAR Technology 108840, Moscow, st. Krasnobogatyrskaya, b. 6, b. 2, Russia

Abstract. The state of the Earth’s ionosphere is an important factor characterizing dynamics of the solarterrestrial relations. The total electron content (TEC) of the ionosphere is one of the basic parameters for its diagnostics. It can be measured using the delays of radio signals from satellites of a GNSS on their ways to receivers. The solar influence on the ionosphere is of a global character. As for the Earth, its contribution, due to complex topography and weather conditions (for example, thunderstorms) can have local components, variable in time and space. When studying such disturbances, one should correctly exclude from the full spectrum of TEC variations the global part, i.e., we have to investigate the difference between local delays of radio signals and predicted global delays. It is possible to do this on-line with the use of satellite clocks. We describe a method of measuring the local variations of the total electron content (TEC) in the region of the Carpet air shower array of the Baksan Neutrino Observatory (43.3°N, 42.7°E). The standard 6-channel one-frequency satellite clock GPS170PCI is used. The period from 29.07.2019 to 06.09.2019 is analyzed to make statistical estimates of the coupling coefficients between command execution duration for getting GPS170PCI precise time and TEC variations according to global ionosphere maps. Conclusions are compared with calibration results obtained during a magnetic storm. It is shown that there are considerable variations correlating with the muon intensity measured at the ground level. A triple local TEC increase (about 15 min) is shown to occur in the 02.09.2019 event, its commencement being in coincidence with an underground electric discharge. The form of the TEC disturbance correlates with the variation of the electric current that propagates along the river near the experiment location. Cause and-effect relations of the observed phenomena are analyzed.

Key words: cosmic rays, ionospheric – magnetospheric disturbances, atmospheric electricity, Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), Total Electronic Content (TEC).

Received: 29.10.2023; Revised: 08.12.2023; Accepted: 12.12.2023; First online: 15.12.2023

For citation. Khaerdinov N. S., Kurenya A. N., Lidvansky A. S., Petkov V. B., Khaerdinov M. N. Local variations of the total electron content (TEC) of the ionosphere as measured in the North Caucasus Mountains. Vestnik KRAUNC. Fiz.-mat. nauki. 2023, 45: 4, 166-189. EDN: EJSJDU.

Funding. From funds for fulfillment of the state task.

Competing interests. There are no conflicts of interest regarding authorship and publication.

Contribution and Responsibility. All authors contributed to this article. Authors are solely responsible for providing the final version of the article in print. The final version of the manuscript was approved by all authors.

^\astCorrespondence: E-mail:

The content is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

© Khaerdinov N. S., Kurenya A. N., Lidvansky A. S., Petkov V. B., Khaerdinov M.N., 2023

© Institute of Cosmophysical Research and Radio Wave Propagation, 2023 (original layout, design, compilation)


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Khaerdinov Nail Safovich – Ph.D (Phys. –Math.), senior researcher of Baksan Neutrino Observatory of INR of RAS, v. Neutrino, KBR, Russia , ORCID 0000-0002-2734-4124.

Kurenya Aleksandr Nikolaevich – researcher of Baksan Neutrino Observatory of INR of RAS, v. Neutrino, KBR, Russia, ORCID 0000-0001-5375-877X.

Lidvansky Alexander Sergeevich – Ph.D. (Phys. –Math.), head of the laboratory of High Energy Leptons, Institute for Nuclear Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, ORCID 0000-0002-8002-6491.

Petkov Valeriy Borisovich – Dr. Sc. (Phys.-Math.), branch head of the Baksan Neutrino Observatory of INR of RAS, v. Neutrino, Russia, ORCID 0000-0003-2101-0825.

Khaerdinov Mikhail Nailevich – system analyst at EGAR Technologies LLC, Moscow, Russia, ORCID 0000-0001-9702-3986.