, Volume 85, Issue 12, pp 887-907
Date: 11 Sep 2011

The ionosphere: effects, GPS modeling and the benefits for space geodetic techniques

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The main goal of this paper is to provide a summary of our current knowledge of the ionosphere as it relates to space geodetic techniques, especially the most informative technology, global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), specifically the fully deployed and operational global positioning system (GPS). As such, the main relevant modeling points are discussed, and the corresponding results of ionospheric monitoring are related, which were mostly computed using GPS data and based on the direct experience of the authors. We address various phenomena such as horizontal and vertical ionospheric morphology in quiet conditions, traveling ionospheric disturbances, solar flares, ionospheric storms and scintillation. Finally, we also tackle the question of how improved knowledge of ionospheric conditions, especially in terms of an accurate understanding of the distribution of free electrons, can improve space geodetic techniques at different levels, such as higher-order ionospheric effects, precise GNSS navigation, single-antenna GNSS orientation and real-time GNSS meteorology.