Journal of Geodesy

, Volume 92, Issue 6, pp 691–706 | Cite as

Consistency of seven different GNSS global ionospheric mapping techniques during one solar cycle

  • David Roma-Dollase
  • Manuel Hernández-PajaresEmail author
  • Andrzej Krankowski
  • Kacper Kotulak
  • Reza Ghoddousi-Fard
  • Yunbin Yuan
  • Zishen Li
  • Hongping Zhang
  • Chuang Shi
  • Cheng Wang
  • Joachim Feltens
  • Panagiotis Vergados
  • Attila Komjathy
  • Stefan Schaer
  • Alberto García-Rigo
  • José M. Gómez-Cama
Original Article


In the context of the International GNSS Service (IGS), several IGS Ionosphere Associated Analysis Centers have developed different techniques to provide global ionospheric maps (GIMs) of vertical total electron content (VTEC) since 1998. In this paper we present a comparison of the performances of all the GIMs created in the frame of IGS. Indeed we compare the classical ones (for the ionospheric analysis centers CODE, ESA/ESOC, JPL and UPC) with the new ones (NRCAN, CAS, WHU). To assess the quality of them in fair and completely independent ways, two assessment methods are used: a direct comparison to altimeter data (VTEC-altimeter) and to the difference of slant total electron content (STEC) observed in independent ground reference stations (dSTEC-GPS). The main conclusion of this study, performed during one solar cycle, is the consistency of the results between so many different GIM techniques and implementations.


Global navigation satellite systems Ionosphere Global ionospheric maps Vertical total electron content Model validation 



This work has been possible thanks to the collaborative and friendly framework of the International GNSS Service, an organization providing first class open data and open products to the scientific and technical GNSS communities (see Dow et al. 2009). We appreciate the editorial inputs of Dr. René Zandbergen from ESA/ESOC.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC-IonSAT, IEEC)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Engineering: ElectronicsUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Space Radio-Diagnostics Research Center (SRRC/UWM)University of Warmia and Mazury in OlsztynOlsztynPoland
  4. 4.Canadian Geodetic SurveyNatural Resources CanadaOttawaCanada
  5. 5.Institude of Geology and GeophysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  6. 6.Academy of Opto-ElectronicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  7. 7.Wuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  8. 8.Navigation Support OfficeTelespazio VEGA Deutschland GmbH c/o European Space Agency/European Space Operations CentreDarmstadtGermany
  9. 9.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryNational Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashingtonUSA
  10. 10.Center for Orbit Determination in EuropeBernSwitzerland

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