Effects of gradients of the electron density on Earth-space communications

S. M. Radicella, B. Nava, P. Coïsson, L. Kersley, G. J. Bailey

Abstract


This paper is a review of the main results achieved in the framework of COST 271 Action Working Group 4, under the activities of the Work Package 4.4. The first topic treated deals with the influence of ionospheric space and time gradients in the slant to vertical and vertical to slant ionospheric delay conversion when the thin shell approximation of the ionosphere is assumed and with the effects of geomagnetic
activity on the errors that this conversion introduces. The second topic is related to the comparison of ionospheric topside models with experimental electron density profiles to check the ability
of the models to reproduce the observed topside shape and characteristics that determine the electron density gradients. The analysis that has been done allows pointing out the changes needed to improve
the models. Finally a third topic covers a model simulation study of the total electron content that can be encountered in GPS-to-geostationary satellite ray paths. It takes into account that the propagation
paths for such satellite-to-satellite links are very long and they have the potential to intersect regions of the ionised atmosphere where the electron density is high when the geometry is close to eclipse.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-3296
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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X