The comparison of topmost radio occultation electron densities with in-situ ion densities from FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2

  • Evaluate the RO estimated topmost electron density by IVM measurement
  • The discrepancy might be due to the spherical symmetry assumption in Abel inversion
  • The geometry of LEO and GNSS is an important factor in the retrieval EDPs

The ionospheric radio occultation (RO) inversion is a powerful tool in retrieving the global electron density profiles (EDPs) remotely by using the time delay of the signals received by Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites from the GPS and other GNSS satellites based on the spherical symmetry assumptions and the coplanar approximation. However, these assumptions may cause the inaccuracy in the electron density retrieval. In this study, for the first time, we present an ionospheric electron density comparison between the estimated topmost electron density profiles from the FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2 (F7/C2) RO and the co-located in-situ ion densities obtained from the Ion Velocity Meter (IVM) onboard the F7/C2 satellites and then further quantitatively evaluate the impacts of the abovementioned Abel inversion assumptions on the topside ionospheric electron density. Results showed the RO topmost electron density is overall in good agreement with the IVM in-situ ion density but is slightly underestimation. Furthermore, the dihedral angle of the LEO and the occultation plane is also highlighted the importance of the coplanar approximation in the Abel inversion.

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