GPS Solutions

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 231–239 | Cite as

Analysis of inversion errors of ionospheric radio occultation

  • Xiaocheng Wu
  • Xiong Hu
  • Xiaoyan Gong
  • Xunxie Zhang
  • Xin Wang
Original Article


The retrieved electron density profile of ionospheric radio occultation (RO) simulation data can be compared with the background model value during the simulation and the inversion error can be obtained exactly. This paper studies the inversion error of ionospheric RO through simulation. The sources of the inversion errors are analyzed. The impacts of measurement errors, such as the errors in phase measurements and satellite orbits, are very small and can be neglected. The approximation of straight-line propagation introduces errors at the height of the F1 layer under solar maximum condition. The spherical symmetry approximation of the electron density distribution is found to be the main source of the inversion error. The statistical results reveal some characteristics of the inversion errors. (1) The relative error increases with enhanced solar activity. (2) It is larger in winter than in equinox season, and it is smallest in summer. (3) For all seasons, it is smaller at middle latitude than at other latitudes. (4) For all seasons and geomagnetic latitudes, it is smaller at daytime than at other times. The NmF2 of the ROs from COSMIC are compared with the measurements of ionosondes, and the relative differences show the same dependencies on season, geomagnetic latitude and local time, as the relative errors of the simulated ionospheric ROs.


Ionospheric radio occultation Error source Simulation Asymmetry of electron density COSMIC 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaocheng Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiong Hu
    • 1
  • Xiaoyan Gong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xunxie Zhang
    • 3
  • Xin Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Space Science and Applied ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Wuhan Institute of Physics and MathematicsChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina

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