Influence of temporal resolution on the performance of global ionospheric maps

Abstract

Global ionosphere maps (GIM) computed from dual-frequency GNSS measurements have been widely used for monitoring ionosphere as well as providing ionospheric corrections in Space Geodesy since 1998. This work focuses on a comprehensive study of the influence of time resolution on GIM performance. One and a half solar cycle of the IGS GIM with higher time resolution and accuracy (the UPC-IonSAT Quarter-of-an-hour time resolution Rapid GIM, AKA uqrg) has been taken as baseline to downsample them to all possible sub-daily temporal resolutions. The performance of the resulting GIMs has been assessed by directly comparing with external vertical total electron content (VTEC) measurements from Jason altimeters over oceanic regions. In order to perform a complete assessment and analysis of involved GIMs, the influence of geographical position and solar and geomagnetic activities was also taken into account during more than one solar cycle. In addition, to have a clear view at the smaller time resolutions, a more accurate assessment, the dSTEC test based on external GNSS measurements not used in the GIM generation was also done during two solstice and two equinox days in 2015 over continental regions. The assessment shows that discrepancy among GIMs with different time resolutions becomes more apparent at low latitudes and also at high solar-geomagnetic activity. The results also suggest that the accuracy for GIMs with time resolution smaller or equal to 60 min is consistent during the period from 2002 to 2019 and is more accurate than other GIMs with lower temporal resolution. Accordingly, high time resolution (including 15, 30, 45 and 60 min) is recommended for the application of GIMs with the highest accuracy.

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Data availibility

The UQRG GIMs, baseline of this work, are openly accessible from IGS server at ftp://cddis.gsfc.nasa.gov/gps/products/ionex/YEAR/DOY/uqrgDOY0.YYi.Z, being YEAR and YY the 4- and 2- digits year identifiers, and DOY is the day of year, all of them with leading zeroes when needed (see for instance ftp://cddis.gsfc.nasa.gov/gps/products/ionex/2002/003/uqrg0030.02i.Z). Any missing file can be requested from the authors, in particular from Manuel Hernández-Pajares (manuel.hernandez@upc.edu).

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Acknowledgements

The first author is grateful to the financial support of China Scholarship Council(CSC). The Group for Jason-altimeter data were obtained from the NASA EOSDIS Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (PO.DAAC) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (http://dx.doi.org/10.5067/GHGMR-4FJ01) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). And we are also thankful to GFZ and SWPC for providing Ap index and F10.7 index, respectively. Also many thanks to Heng Yang for his kind advice of GIM id.

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QL performed the research, MHP and QL designed the research and wrote the paper, and HL and AG helped to refine the ideas and to write the paper.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Manuel Hernández-Pajares.

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Liu, Q., Hernández-Pajares, M., Lyu, H. et al. Influence of temporal resolution on the performance of global ionospheric maps. J Geod 95, 34 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00190-021-01483-y

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Keywords

  • Global Navigation Satellite Systems
  • Ionosphere
  • Global ionospheric map
  • Temporal resolution
  • Vertical total electron content
  • Jason