Measurements from the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites provide a valuable source of information about the ionosphere in the form of ray-path integrations of electron density. Total electron content (TEC) through the ionosphere can be estimated for specific satellite-to-ground paths using the two GPS frequencies and knowledge of the dispersive properties of the ionosphere. One approach used is the ionospheric imaging tool Multi Instrument Data Analysis System (MIDAS), which uses differential phase data from a number of GPS satellites and receivers to create an ionospheric movie of electron density. This paper addresses the accuracy with which MIDAS images the electron density at the F-layer peak. Firstly, the image accuracy is tested using a simulation of the imaging technique, representative of I year of data. Experimental GPS phase data are then used to image the electron density during a period of disturbed geomagnetic activity during April 2002. The images are compared to independent measurements from three ionosondes located across Europe and confirm the underestimate in peak electron density that was found in the simulation. Regardless of the peak density errors the vertical TEC in the images remains accurate. The accuracy of the imaged peak electron density is shown to improve across the image when measurements from ionosondes are included in the inversion process. (c) 2006 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|