Extraction of electron density profiles with geostationary satellite-based GPS side lobe occultation signals
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GPS radio occultation (RO) measurements recorded on the geostationary earth orbit (GEO) satellite TJS-2 have been investigated for electron density profile (EDP) retrieval. The total electron content derived from TJS-2 single-frequency excess phase is refined by a moving average filter to smooth high-frequency errors, which outperforms the single-difference technique. The side lobe GPS RO signals have been used to estimate electron densities up to several thousand kilometers in height for the first time. By comparison with the ground-based digisonde, the IRI 2016 model and the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate satellite (COSMIC) EDPs, the TJS-2 ionospheric EDPs show good agreement with correlation coefficients exceeding 0.8. The TJS-2 average NmF2 differences compared to digisondes and COSMIC results are 12.9% and 1.4%, respectively, while the hmF2 differences are 1.65 km and 1.76 km, respectively. Our results reveal that GEO-based RO signals can estimate EDPs to altitudes up to several thousand kilometers at specific locations with daily repeatability, which makes it a very suitable technique for routinely monitoring EDP variations.
KeywordsGPS radio occultation GEO satellite Side lobe signal Electron density profile Digisonde COSMIC
The authors would like to acknowledge the IGS for providing the precision GPS ephemeris and clock offset products, CDAAC for COSMIC electron density profile products, and the DIAS project for the digisonde data. The authors are very grateful to two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments. This research is sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation (Grant Nos. 41574027, 41574030 and 41774035), the National Key Research and Development Plan (Grant No. 2016YFB0501802), Wuhan Science and Technology Project (Grant No. 2019010701011391), and the Wuhan Morning Light Plan of Youth Science and Technology (Grant No. 2017050304010301).
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