Simultaneous multiplicative column-normalized method (SMART) for 3-D ionosphere tomography in comparison to other algebraic methods
Abstract. The accuracy and availability of satellite-based applications like GNSS positioning and remote sensing crucially depends on the knowledge of the ionospheric electron density distribution. The tomography of the ionosphere is one of the major tools to provide link specific ionospheric corrections as well as to study and monitor physical processes in the ionosphere.
In this paper, we introduce a simultaneous multiplicative column-normalized method (SMART) for electron density reconstruction. Further, SMART+ is developed by combining SMART with a successive correction method. In this way, a balancing between the measurements of intersected and not intersected voxels is realised. The methods are compared with the well-known algebraic reconstruction techniques ART and SART. All the four methods are applied to reconstruct the 3-D electron density distribution by ingestion of ground-based GNSS TEC data into the NeQuick model.
The comparative case study is implemented over Europe during two periods of the year 2011 covering quiet to disturbed ionospheric conditions. In particular, the performance of the methods is compared in terms of the convergence behaviour and the capability to reproduce sTEC and electron density profiles. For this purpose, independent sTEC data of four IGS stations and electron density profiles of four ionosonde stations are taken as reference. The results indicate that SMART significantly reduces the number of iterations necessary to achieve a predefined accuracy level. Further, SMART+ decreases the median of the absolute sTEC error up to 15, 22, 46 and 67 % compared to SMART, SART, ART and NeQuick respectively.