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Keywords:

  • ionosphere;
  • tomography;
  • GPS;
  • time transfer;
  • timing

Abstract

A real-time ionospheric mapping system is tested to investigate its ability to compensate for the ionospheric delay in single-frequency Global Positioning System (GPS) time transfer over Europe. This technique is compared with two other single-frequency systems: one that does not incorporate any ionospheric correction and one that uses the broadcast Klobuchar model. A dual-frequency technique is also shown as a benchmark. A period in March 2003, during a solar maximum, has been used to display results when the ionospheric delays are large and variable. Data from two European GPS monitoring centers were used to test the time-transfer methods. For averaging times between several minutes and a few hours, the instabilities in the time transfers were dominated by ionospheric effects. The instabilities at longer averaging times were found to be due to clock noise and hardware instabilities. Improvements in time-transfer instabilities are shown by using the ionospheric tomography system.