The Open Atmospheric Science Journal




ISSN: 1874-2823 ― Volume 13, 2019

Effect of TEC Variation on GPS Precise Point at Low Latitude


The Open Atmospheric Science Journal, 2009, 3: 1-12

Rajesh Tiwari, Soumi Bhattacharya, P.K. Purohit, A.K. Gwal

Space Science Lab, Department of Physics, Barkatullah University, Bhopal, India.

Electronic publication date 15/1/2009
[DOI: 10.2174/1874282300903010001]

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Abstract:

The ionosphere is a dispersive medium of charged particles between the satellite and the user on Earth. These dispersive ionized media play a vital role in the various applications of GPS (Global Positioning Systems) because the ionosphere directly influences transionospheric radio waves propagating from the satellite to the receiver. Solar flares affect the ionization state of the ionosphere with their high intensity. Sometimes the intensity is so severe that it accelerates the rate of ionization, resulting in ionospheric storms; during the ionospheric storms the concentration of charged particles varies. Among the various phenomena in the ionosphere, TEC (Total Electron Content) is responsible for range error which produces a time delay in the radio signal. The rate of change of TEC with respect to time is abbreviated as ROT. It is one of the parameters that express the ionospheric irregularities with respect to time. This work investigates the effect of ROT fluctuation on the precise positioning of GPS receivers during low solar activity periods in the equatorial anomaly region. Good geometry and a sufficient number of locked satellites provide more accuracy within the centimeter level, but the case may be different when there are any ionospheric storms. Even a few satellite signals passing through the ionospheric irregularities can cause a significant error in positioning. Thus, it is important to understand the ionospheric irregularities observed by GPS receivers in order to correct them. The ROT (TEC/Minute) parameter is used here to study the occurrence of TEC fluctuation and its potential effect on GPS, such as a horizontal positional error or the satellite geometry of the GPS receiver. This investigation is based on the analysis of a one-year observation of a fixed GPS receiver installed at Bhopal (23.2020N, 77.4520E), India during low solar active period in 2005. The GPS receiver used here is a GISTM-based dual frequency NovAtel OEM4 GPS receiver.


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