High-order ionospheric effects on electron density estimation from Fengyun-3C GPS radio occultation
- 1Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200030, China
- 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
- 3Department of Geomatics Engineering, Bulent Ecevit University, Zonguldak 67100, Turkey
Abstract. GPS radio occultation can estimate ionospheric electron density and total electron content (TEC) with high spatial resolution, e.g., China's recent Fengyun-3C GPS radio occultation. However, high-order ionospheric delays are normally ignored. In this paper, the high-order ionospheric effects on electron density estimation from the Fengyun-3C GPS radio occultation data are estimated and investigated using the NeQuick2 ionosphere model and the IGRF12 (International Geomagnetic Reference Field, 12th generation) geomagnetic model. Results show that the high-order ionospheric delays have large effects on electron density estimation with up to 800 el cm−3, which should be corrected in high-precision ionospheric density estimation and applications. The second-order ionospheric effects are more significant, particularly at 250–300 km, while third-order ionospheric effects are much smaller. Furthermore, the high-order ionospheric effects are related to the location, the local time, the radio occultation azimuth and the solar activity. The large high-order ionospheric effects are found in the low-latitude area and in the daytime as well as during strong solar activities. The second-order ionospheric effects have a maximum positive value when the radio occultation azimuth is around 0–20°, and a maximum negative value when the radio occultation azimuth is around −180 to −160°. Moreover, the geomagnetic storm also affects the high-order ionospheric delay, which should be carefully corrected.