Articles | Volume 31, issue 5
Regular paper
03 May 2013
Regular paper |  | 03 May 2013

Comparison of the characteristics of ionospheric parameters obtained from FORMOSAT-3 and digisonde over Ascension Island

Y. J. Chuo, C. C. Lee, W. S. Chen, and B. W. Reinisch

Abstract. Electron density profile data obtained from the FORMOSAT-3 radio occultation (RO) measurements over Ascension Island are used to study the bottomside thickness parameter B0 in the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) model, scale height around the F region peak height, and other F2 region parameters. The RO data were collected when the radio occultation occurred at Ascension Island (345.6° E, 8.0° S) during the solar minimum activity period from May 2006 to April 2008. Results show that the B0 values are in moderate agreement with the ground-based observations in the equinox period (correlation coefficient r = 0.682) and winter (r = 0.570), with a strong correlation in summer (r = 0.750). The seasonal and diurnal variations in B0 over Ascension Island show peak values during the daytime and in winter. In addition, the B0 values were underestimated and overestimated in the RO measurements during the daytime and nighttime, respectively. Moreover, the comparison of scale heights shows that scale heights obtained from the retrieved data and digisonde observations are weakly correlation in all three seasons. Furthermore, although the effective scale height (HT) values were reverse of those obtained from the RO measurements and are higher during the nighttime than in the daytime, they are in good agreement with those from ground-based observations. This paper also provides a comprehensive discussion of the effect of the asymmetric ionospheric electron density profiles on RO measurements.