, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 174-177
Date: 19 May 2005

Eye on the Ionosphere

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Radio beacon transmissions through the atmosphere are used to measure both neutral and plasma densities. The phase from the radio transmissions is analyzed to yield data on the integrated refractive index along the propagation path. In the ionosphere, this integral is proportional to the total electron content (TEC). The three possible configurations for these measurements are illustrated in Figure 1. Measurements using the nearly horizontal transmissions from beacon satellites to space-based receivers are called occultations. Beacon measurements with satellites and ground systems along vertical and oblique paths will be labeled trans-ionospheric observations. Combining the trans-ionospheric measurements with the occultation data greatly improves the accuracy and quality of the ionospheric density measurements.Fig. 1

Space-based geometry of atmospheric measurements using radio beacon transmissions

Occultation of the Earth’s troposphere and ionosphere using GPS receivers in low-earth orbi ...

Ionospheric Profiling by GPS Receiver Occultations: Taking Advantage of Existing Earth-Based Infrastructure