GPS Solutions

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 87–97

Mitigation of higher order ionospheric effects on GNSS users in Europe

Original Article


Current dual-frequency GPS measurements can only eliminate the first-order ionospheric term and may cause a higher-order range bias of several centimeters. This research investigates the second-order ionospheric effect for GNSS users in Europe. In comparison to previous studies, the electron density profiles of the ionosphere/plasmasphere are modeled as the sum of three Chapman layers describing electron densities of the ionospheric F2, F1 and E layers and a superposed exponential decay function describing the plasmasphere. The International Geomagnetic Reference Field model is used to calculate the geomagnetic field vectors at numerous points along the incoming ray paths. Based on extended simulation studies, we derive a correction formula to compute the average value of the longitudinal component of the earth’s magnetic field along the line-of-sight as a function of geographic latitude and longitude, and geometrical parameters such as elevation and azimuth angles. Using our correction formula in conjunction with the total electron content (TEC) along the line-of-sight, the second-order ionospheric term can be corrected to the millimeter level for a vertical TEC level of 1018 electrons/m2.


GNSS positioning Signal refraction Second-order ionospheric correction 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.German Aerospace Center (DLR)Institute of Communications and NavigationNeustrelitzGermany
  2. 2.International Postgraduate Programme Multi SensoricsCenter for Sensorsystems at University of SiegenSiegenGermany

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