GPS derived TEC and foF2 variability at an equatorial station and the performance of IRI-model

Abstract
<p>The ionosphere induces a time delay in transionospheric radio signals such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) signal. The Total Electron Content (TEC) is a key parameter in the mitigation of ionospheric effects on transionospheric signals. The delay in GPS signal induced by the ionosphere is proportional to TEC along the path from the GPS satellite to a receiver. The diurnal monthly and seasonal variations of ionospheric electron content were studied during the year 2010, a year of extreme solar minimum (F10.7\&nbsp;=\&nbsp;81 solar flux unit), with data from the GPS receiver and the Digisonde Portable Sounder (DPS) collocated at Ilorin (Geog. Lat. 8.50\textdegreeN, Long. 4.50\textdegreeE, dip -<strong>7.9</strong>\textdegree). The diurnal monthly variation shows steady increases in TEC and F2-layer critical frequency (foF2) from pre-dawn minimum to afternoon maximum and then decreases after sunset. TEC show significant seasonal variation during the daytime between 0900 and 1900\&nbsp;UT (LT\&nbsp;=\&nbsp;UT\&nbsp;+\&nbsp;1\&nbsp;h) with a maximum during the March equinox (about 35 TECU) and minimum during the June solstice (about 24 TECU). The GPS-TEC and foF2 values reveal a weak seasonal anomaly and equinoctial asymmetry during the daytime. The variations observed find their explanations in the amount of solar radiation and neutral gas composition. The measured TEC and foF2 values were compared with last two versions of the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI-2007 and <strong>IRI</strong>-2012) model predictions using the NeQuick and CCIR (International Radio Consultative Committee) options respectively in the model. In general, the two models give foF2 close to the experimental values, whereas significant discrepancies are found in the predictions of TEC from the models especially during the daytime. The error in height dependent thickness parameter, daytime underestimation of equatorial drift and contributions of electrons from altitudes above 2000\&nbsp;km have been suggested as the possible causes.</p>
Year of Publication
2014
Journal
Advances in Space Research
Volume
54
Number of Pages
565-575
Date Published
08/2014
ISSN Number
02731177
URL
http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0273117714002038http://api.elsevier.com/content/article/PII:S0273117714002038?httpAccept=text/xmlhttp://api.elsevier.com/content/article/PII:S0273117714002038?httpAccept=text/plain
DOI
10.1016/j.asr.2014.03.026