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In this paper the South African Ionospheric Map (SAIM) is upgraded with the usage of recent International Reference Ionosphere (IRI)-2012 model and South African Bottomside Model (SABIM) version 5 and validated for the critical frequency (foF2) of the F2 layer by comparing the model’s output with the measured ionosonde data. The SABIM model is also validated before use in the SAIM. The ionosonde stations used in the analysis include; Grahamstown (33.2°S, 26.3°E), Hermanus (34.4°S, 19.2°E), Louisvale (28.5°S, 21.2°E) and Madimbo (22.4°S, 30.9°E). The analysis of the results showed that the updates improved the performance of SAIM by 75% over the first version. The foF2 estimates from the SABIM version 5 model also gave a better estimate to the ionosonde measurements compared to the IRI-2012 model. The SABIM model performed 27% better than the IRI-2012 model during solar maximum and 14.7% better during solar minimum.
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