A new global model for the ionospheric F2 peak height for radio wave propagation
- Institute of Communications and Navigation, German Aerospace Center, Neustrelitz, Germany
Abstract. The F2-layer peak density height hmF2 is one of the most important ionospheric parameters characterizing HF propagation conditions. Therefore, the ability to model and predict the spatial and temporal variations of the peak electron density height is of great use for both ionospheric research and radio frequency planning and operation. For global hmF2 modelling we present a nonlinear model approach with 13 model coefficients and a few empirically fixed parameters. The model approach describes the temporal and spatial dependencies of hmF2 on global scale. For determining the 13 model coefficients, we apply this model approach to a large quantity of global hmF2 observational data obtained from GNSS radio occultation measurements onboard CHAMP, GRACE and COSMIC satellites and data from 69 worldwide ionosonde stations. We have found that the model fits to these input data with the same root mean squared (RMS) and standard deviations of 10%. In comparison with the electron density NeQuick model, the proposed Neustrelitz global hmF2 model (Neustrelitz Peak Height Model – NPHM) shows percentage RMS deviations of about 13% and 12% from the observational data during high and low solar activity conditions, respectively, whereas the corresponding deviations for the NeQuick model are found 18% and 16%, respectively.