AMIC project data now available in GSSC


ESA’s AMIC initiative, led by Rokubun in collaboration with ICTP, addresses a critical challenge in GNSS-based monitoring of Earth’s Ionosphere and troposphere: the lack of coverage in remote regions like deserts, oceans, and inaccessible areas. Establishing receivers in these locations poses logistical and financial complexities due to potential equipment loss or damage, along with costly maintenance efforts.

Central to the project is the Rokubun MEDEA GNSS receiver, designed to deliver exceptional performance at an affordable cost. Recent developments reveal that testing of the AMIC project and MEDEA receivers has concluded successfully. Deployment is already underway, with initial receivers actively collecting and transmitting data. The full-scale production phase is set to commence shortly.

While most receivers are en route to Africa, a few have already been deployed and their data is accessible via GSSC. Data availability is anticipated to substantially increase by the beginning of next year (2024). The GNSS data will be provided as Hatanaka compressed RINEX 3 files, encompassing 15-minute data intervals with a 1-second sampling rate.

Thanks to reliable wired internet connections in receiver locations, data transmission to Europe (and to the GSSC) is expected to exhibit minimal latency, ensuring swift data accessibility.

In the context of the capacity building aspect of AMIC, the project was recently presented at a workshop organized by the ICTP[1]: Eastern Africa Capacity Building Workshop on Space Weather and Low-latitude Ionosphere. Together with the presentation of the AMIC project (Hands-on Scintillation/TEC from low cost receivers), a hands on tutorial on GNSS data processing was also performed, with a focus on data from affordable receivers such as MEDEA. Jupyter notebooks covering receiver noise and ROTI (Rate of total electron content index)[2] calculations are publicly available and can be found here. In parallel, with the bulk of the AMIC data, these notebooks will also be available as datalabs in the GSSC. The notebooks require the use of PANDAS, therefore a small tutorial on PANDAS is also available from the same source.

Figure 1 Participants at the Eastern Africa Capacity Building Workshop

While waiting for the full deployment of the AMIC network (January/February of 2024), users are encouraged to have a look at these notebooks so that when the data arrives, its processing and analysis can be readily performed.

Sincerely, The GSSC Team

[1] The ICTP (Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics), is a research organization sponsored by UNESCO, fostering the growth of advanced studies and research in physical and mathematical sciences, especially in support of excellence in developing countries.

[2] The ROTI is a quantitative index of ionospheric scintillation.