Observations and analysis of phase scintillation of spacecraft signal on the interplanetary plasma
Journal article, 2014

Aims. The phase scintillation of the European Space Agency's Venus Express (VEX) spacecraft telemetry signal was observed at X-band (lambda = 3.6 cm) with a number of radio telescopes of the European Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) Network in the period 2009-2013. Methods. We found a phase fluctuation spectrum along the Venus orbit with a nearly constant spectral index of -2.42 +/- 0.25 over the full range of solar elongation angles from 0 degrees to 45 degrees, which is consistent with Kolmogorov turbulence. Radio astronomical observations of spacecraft signals within the solar system give a unique opportunity to study the temporal behaviour of the signal's phase fluctuations caused by its propagation through the interplanetary plasma and the Earth's ionosphere. This gives complementary data to the classical interplanetary scintillation (IPS) study based on observations of the flux variability of distant natural radio sources. Results. We present here our technique and the results on IPS. We compare these with the total electron content for the line of sight through the solar wind. Finally, we evaluate the applicability of the presented technique to phase-referencing VLBI and Doppler observations of currently operational and prospective space missions.










interplanetary medium

Sun: heliosphere

techniques: interferometric







G. M. Calves

Aalto University

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Sergei Pogrebenko

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

G. Cimo

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Dmitry Duev

Moscow State University

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

T. M. B. Bahamon

Delft University of Technology

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Shanghai Astronomical Observatory

Jan Wagner

Max Planck Institute

Aalto University

J. Kallunki

Aalto University

P. de Vicente

National Astronomical Observatory

G. Kronschnabl

Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG)

Rüdiger Haas

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Onsala Space Observatory

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Space Geodesy and Geodynamics

J. Quick

Hartebeeshoek Radio Astronomy Observatory

G. Maccaferri

Istituto nazionale di astrofisica (INAF)

G. Colucci

Agenzia Spaziale Italiana

W. H. Wang

Shanghai Astronomical Observatory

W. J. Yang

Chinese Academy of Sciences

L. F. Hao

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Astronomy and Astrophysics

0004-6361 (ISSN) 1432-0746 (eISSN)

Vol. 564 A4

Subject Categories

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology



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