Ionospheric electron density observed by FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC over the European region and validated by ionosonde data
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- Krankowski, A., Zakharenkova, I., Krypiak-Gregorczyk, A. et al. J Geod (2011) 85: 949. doi:10.1007/s00190-011-0481-z
This research is motivated by the recent IGS Ionosphere Working Group recommendation issued at the IGS 2010 Workshop held in Newcastle, UK. This recommendation encourages studies on the evaluation of the application of COSMIC radio occultation profiles for additional IGS global ionosphere map (GIM) validation. This is because the reliability of GIMs is crucial to many geodetic applications. On the other hand, radio occultation using GPS signals has been proven to be a promising technique to retrieve accurate profiles of the ionospheric electron density with high vertical resolution on a global scale. However, systematic validation work is still needed before using this powerful technique for sounding the ionosphere on a routine basis. In this paper, we analyze the properties of the ionospheric electron density profiling retrieved from COSMIC radio occultation measurements. A comparison of radio occultation data with ground-based measurements indicates that COSMIC profiles are usually in good agreement with ionosonde profiles, both in the F2 layer peak electron density and the bottom side of the profiles. For this comparison, ionograms recorded by European ionospheric stations (DIAS network) in 2008 were used.