Artificial ionospheric wave number 4 structure below the F2 region due to the Abel retrieval of radio occultation measurements
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We analyzed the effect of the Abel inversion on the wave number 4 (WN4) structure from the GPS radio occultation (RO)–measured electron densities by using the FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC (F-3/C) observations under the equinox condition. The Abel-retrieved electron density from both the F-3/C observations and the simulated results by an empirical model with an imposed WN4 structure in the F layer are investigated. It is found that the Abel inversion can reproduce the real WN4 structure well in the F2 layer. However, it will result in pseudo and reversed-phase WN4 structure in the lower altitude (F1 and E layers). Quantitatively, relative ±15% WN4 signature in the F2 layer can produce ±40% artificial WN4 in the E and F1 layers. Analysis on the F-3/C data shows about ±15% WN4 signature in the F2 layer and ±50% WN4 with reversed-phase in the E and F1 layers. The F-3/C-observed WN4 structure in the E and F1 layers might be the combinations of the real WN4 signature and the artificial effects of Abel retrieval.