Statistics of GPS TEC at the northern EIA crest region of the Indian subcontinent during the solar cycle 24 (2013-2018): comparison with IRI-2016 and IRI-2012 models
In this study the statistics of ionospheric total electron content (TEC), derived from a GSV4004B dual-frequency Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver at Agartala station (23.450°N, 91.150°E) located in northern equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) crest region of the Indian subcontinent, is reported with a performance analysis of IRI-2016 and IRI-2012 models during the ascending, maxima, declining and minima phases (2013-2018) of the solar cycle 24. Variations of model total electron content, as obtained from the IRI-2016 and IRI-2012 for the three options of topside electron density namely NeQuick, IRI 2001 and IRI 01-corr, are compared with the observed total electron content during different periods of interest viz. monthly, seasonal, annual and the correlations with solar activity parameters viz. sunspot number (SSN), 10.7 cm solar radio flux (F10.7), solar EUV flux, are also investigated. All the three options of IRI-2016 and IRI-2012 models show an earlier occurrence of diurnal maximum total electron content, as compared to the observed diurnal maximum GPS total electron content, throughout all the months during the complete period of observation. As the solar activity decreases (from 2015 to 2018), the model starts underestimating GPS total electron content, which becomes significantly high during the very low solar activity period of 2017-18 for all the months. IRI-2016 model underestimates the GPS total electron content before the hours of diurnal maximum and overestimates after the hours of diurnal maximum in the years from 2013-2018. IRI-2012 model underestimates the GPS total electron content before the hours of diurnal maximum and overestimates after the hours of diurnal maximum in the years from 2013-17 but overestimate during the whole day in the year of 2018. Overestimation by IRI-2012 is much more than that by IRI-2016 in the year of 2018. Predictions given by IRI-2016 are better than that given by IRI-2012 for our region. The seasonal mean maximum total electron content values are highest during the spring equinox months and lowest during the winter months except the year of 2014 and 2013. The correlation analysis, between the GPS total electron content and solar indices, show that the correlation coefficient is higher for the solar EUV flux, as compared to the sunspot number (SSN) and 10.7 cm solar radio flux (F10.7).
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Astrophysics and Space Science
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