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GPS radio occultation measurements on ionospheric electron density from low Earth orbit


Since the proof-of-concept GPS/Meteorology (GPS/MET) experiment successfully demonstrated active limb sounding of the Earth’s neutral atmosphere and ionosphere via GPS radio occultation (RO) from low Earth orbit, the developments of electron density (n e) retrieval techniques and powerful processing systems have made a significant progress in recent years. In this study, the researches of n e profiling from space-based GPS RO observations are briefly reviewed. Applying to the Formosat-3/Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate (FS3/COSMIC) data, we also present a compensatory Abel inversion technique including the effects of large-scale horizontal gradients and/or inhomogeneous ionospheric n e obtained from an improved near real-time phenomenological model of the TaiWan Ionospheric Model. The results were evaluated by the ionosonde foF2 and foE data and showed improvements of rms foF2 difference from 29.2 to 16.5% in relative percentage and rms foE difference from 54.2 to 32.7% over the standard Abel inversion.

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Correspondence to L.-C. Tsai.

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Tsai, LC., Cheng, KC. & Liu, C.H. GPS radio occultation measurements on ionospheric electron density from low Earth orbit. J Geod 85, 941–948 (2011).

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  • Ionospheric electron density
  • Radio occultation
  • Abel inversion