J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 11, 2021
Topical Issue - Space Weather Instrumentation
|Number of page(s)
|18 February 2021
Accuracy assessment of the quiet-time ionospheric F2 peak parameters as derived from COSMIC-2 multi-GNSS radio occultation measurements
COSMIC Program Office, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80301, USA
2 High Altitude Observatory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80301, USA
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 24 December 2020
The Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate 2 (COSMIC-2) mission was launched into a low-inclination (24°) orbit on June 25, 2019. Six satellites, each with an advanced Tri-GNSS Radio-Occultation Receiver System (TGRS), provide a global and uniform data coverage of the equatorial region with several thousand electron density profiles daily. The COSMIC-2 electron density profiles, and specifically the derived ionospheric F2 peak parameters, are properly validated in this study with reliable “truth” observations. For this purpose, we used manually scaled ionograms from 29 ground-based ionosondes located globally at low and middle latitudes. For this validation campaign, we considered only geomagnetically quiet conditions in order to establish benchmark level of the new mission’s ionospheric observation quality and to evaluate the operational capability of the COSMIC-2 Radio Occultation (RO) payload at the background of normal day-to-day variability of the ionosphere. For reliable colocations between two independent techniques, we selected only COSMIC-2 RO profiles whose F2 peak point coordinates were within 5° of the closest ionosonde. Our comparison of the ionospheric F2 peak height (hmF2) derived from COSMIC-2 RO and ground-based ionosonde measurements showed a very good agreement, with a mean of ~5 and ~2 km at low and middle latitudes, respectively, while RMS error was of ~23 and ~14 km, respectively. That range corresponds to a deviation of only 6–9% from the reference, ionosonde observations. Examination of representative collocation events with multiple (2–5) simultaneous RO tracks near the same ionosonde with different RO geometry, multi-satellite and multi-GNSS combination give us observational evidence that COSMIC-2 RO-based EDPs derived from GPS and GLONAS links show good self-consistency in terms of the ionospheric F2 peak values and electron density profile shape. We can conclude that COSMIC-2 provides high quality data for specification the ionospheric electron density at the F2 peak region.
Key words: COSMIC-2 / GNSS / radio occultation / ionosphere / electron density profile / F2 peak / ionosondes
© I. Cherniak et al., Published by EDP Sciences 2021
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