High Precision Ionospheric Total Electron Count Mapping Using the Navstar Global Positioning System

R.B. Langley and A. Komjathy

Both at: Geodetic Research Laboratory, Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering

University of New Brunswick, P.O. Box 4400, Fredericton, N.B. E3B 5A3 Canada

Phone: 1-506-453-4698, Fax: 1-506-453-4943, email: lang@unb.ca


The ionosphere's dispersive nature provides us with a way to monitor its total electron content (TEC) by using dual- frequency Navstar Global Positioning System (GPS) observations collected by permanent networks of GPS receivers. One such network is that of the International GPS Service for Geodynamics (IGS). Realising the potential benefit of GPS-derived TEC values for navigators, surveyors, ionospheric physicists, and others, the IGS is contemplating initiating an ionospheric products service. As a precursor to establishing such a service, the IGS organised a coordinated test of the determination of TEC values from the stations in its network. The test data set spanned the 5-week interval from 15 October to 18 November 1995 and included an episode of disturbed ionospheric conditions. Along with several other research groups participating in the test, we processed the data from a number of the European IGS stations to produce hourly maps of the TEC above Europe. In this paper we describe the concepts involved in mapping TEC from GPS data and describe the algorithm we used for producing our maps. We will also compare our TEC maps with those generated by the other groups who participated in the test.


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This page was compiled by Attila Komjathy and last updated 15 September 1997. If you have any questions, comments please feel free to get in touch with me.

You can reach me at: komjathy@ocean.colorado.edu