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Derivation of global ionospheric sporadic E critical frequency (foEs) data from the amplitude variations in GPS/GNSS radio occultations

Yu, B., Scott, C. ORCID:, Xue, X., Yue, X. and Dou, X. (2020) Derivation of global ionospheric sporadic E critical frequency (foEs) data from the amplitude variations in GPS/GNSS radio occultations. Royal Society Open Science, 7 (7). 200320. ISSN 2054-5703

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1098/rsos.200320


The ionospheric sporadic E (Es) layer has a significant impact on the Global Positioning System (GPS)/Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals. These influences on the GPS/GNSS signals can also be used to study the occurrence and characteristics of the Es layer on a global scale. In this paper, 5.8 million radio occultation (RO) profiles from the FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC satellite mission and ground-based observations of Es layers recorded by 25 ionospheric monitoring stations and held at the UK Solar System Data Centre at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the Chinese Meridian Project were used to derive the hourly Es critical frequency (foEs) data. The global distribution of foEs with a high spatial resolution shows a strong seasonal variation in foEs with a summer maximum exceeding 4.0 MHz and a winter minimum between 2.0–2.5 MHz. The GPS/GNSS RO technique is an important tool that can provide global estimates of Es layers, augmenting the limited coverage and low frequency detection threshold of ground-based instruments. Attention should be paid to small foEs values from ionosondes near the instrumental detection limits corresponding to minimum frequencies in the range 1.28–1.60 MHz.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:91714
Publisher:The Royal Society


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