GPS Solutions

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 327–335 | Cite as

Evaluating the effect of the global ionospheric map on aiding retrieval of radio occultation electron density profiles

Original Article


Radio occultation (RO) has been proven to be a powerful technique for ionospheric electron density profile (EDP) retrieval. The Abel inversion currently used in RO EDP retrieval has degraded performance in regions with large horizontal gradients because of an assumption of spherical symmetry as indicated by many studies. Some alternative methods have been proposed in the past; the global ionospheric map (GIM)-aided Abel inversion is most frequently studied. Since the number of RO observations will likely increase rapidly in the near future, it is worthwhile to continue to improve retrieval method. In this study, both the simulations and the real data test have been done to evaluate the GIM-aided Abel inversion method. It is found that the GIM-aided Abel inversion can significantly improve upon the standard Abel inversion in either the F or the E region if an accurate GIM is available. However, the current IGS GIM does not appear accurate enough to improve retrieval results significantly, because of the spherical symmetry assumption and sparse global navigation satellite system (GNSS) stations used in its creation. Generating accurate GIM based on dense GNSS network to aid the Abel inversion might be an alternative method.


Radio occultation Abel GNSS GIM Ionosphere FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xinan Yue
    • 1
  • William S. Schreiner
    • 1
  • Ying-Hwa Kuo
    • 1
  1. 1.COSMIC Program OfficeUniversity Corporation for Atmospheric ResearchBoulderUSA

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