pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 135, Issue 3, pp 475–491 | Cite as

Modeling the ionospheric electron content for the correction of altimetric measurements

  • Françoise Foucher
  • Jean-François Ciavaldini


The TOPEX-POSEIDON oceanographic satellite (due to be launched in 1992) will proceed to high accuracy altimetric measurements of the sea surface. Since the altimeter signals will propagate through the ionosphere, they will be retarded with respect to their free-space propagation delay. As a result, the measured altitude will exhibit an apparent lengthening which must be considered. In order to correct this effect, the ionosphere total electron content (TEC) beneath the satellite has to be known. This paper addresses the problem of determining the TEC form Doppler measurements performed on telemetric signals propagating between the satellite and the ground stations of the DORIS positioning system. This is an inverse problem which, in general, does not admit a single-valued solution. Physical observations of the ionophere lead us to assume that the TEC along each half-revolution is regular such that we can select an appropriate solution. This solution is approximated by cubic splines. The computed results are compared to simulation results, based on the Bent ionospheric model and seem to be particularly promising.

Key words

Ionospheric electron content altimetric measurements mathematical model spline 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Françoise Foucher
    • 1
  • Jean-François Ciavaldini
    • 2
  1. 1.LAB MER/GERCentre National d'Etudes des TélécommunicationsLannionFrance
  2. 2.Faculté des Sciences et des TechniquesUniversité de NantesNantesFrance

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