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Analysis of an Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejection by a spacecraft radio signal: A case study

Molera Calvés, G. and Kallio, E. and Cimò, G. and Quick, J. and Duev, D. A. and Bocanegra-Bahamón, T. and Nickola, M. and Kharinov, M. A. and Mikhailov, A. G. (2017) Analysis of an Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejection by a spacecraft radio signal: A case study. Space Weather, 15 (11). pp. 1523-1534. ISSN 1542-7390. doi:10.1002/2017SW001701.

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Tracking radio communication signals from planetary spacecraft with ground-based telescopes offers the possibility to study the electron density and the interplanetary scintillation of the solar wind. Observations of the telemetry link of planetary spacecraft have been conducted regularly with ground antennae from the European Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network, aiming to study the propagation of radio signals in the solar wind at different solar elongations and distances from the Sun. We have analyzed the Mars Express spacecraft radio signal phase fluctuations while, based on a 3-D heliosphere plasma simulation, an interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME) crossed the radio path during one of our observations on 6 April 2015. Our measurements showed that the phase scintillation indices increased by a factor of 4 during the passage of the ICME. The method presented here confirms that the phase scintillation technique based on spacecraft signals provides information of the properties and propagation of the ICMEs in the heliosphere.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Kallio, E.0000-0002-9791-804X
Duev, D. A.0000-0001-5060-8733
Bocanegra-Bahamón, T.0000-0001-8338-8650
Additional Information:© 2017 American Geophysical Union. Received 23 OCT 2016; Accepted 23 OCT 2017; Accepted article online 13 NOV 2017; Published online 16 NOV 2017. This work was made possible by observations conducted by a number of EVN radio telescopes. The EVN is a joint facility of European, Chinese, Russian, and South African institutes funded by their National Research Councils. The authors would like to thank all the station operators who conducted the observations, ESOC for their collaboration in planning the observations, and ESA's MEX project team for their support and assistance. The authors would also like to acknowledge the iSWA for the ENLIL simulations and the data from the ACE spacecraft. T. Bocanegra Bahamón acknowledges the NWO-ShAO agreement on collaboration in VLBI. The spacecraft tracking software is available at an online repository ( The data presented in this paper are available at an online repository (
Subject Keywords:Doppler measurement; VLBI; interplanetary scintillation; ICME; spacecraft tracking; solar wind
Issue or Number:11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171114-082931937
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Official Citation:Molera Calvés, G., Kallio, E., Cimo, G., Quick, J., Duev, D. A., Bocanegra Bahamón, T., … Mikhailov, A. (2017). Analysis of an interplanetary coronal mass ejection by a spacecraft radio signal: A case study. Space Weather, 15, 1523–1534.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:83187
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:14 Nov 2017 19:16
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 19:56

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